The Italian Interior Ministry has released figures showing that illegal migrant landings have reduced by half in 2019, largely thanks to policies enacted by former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
According to the ministry, the country saw 23,210 arrivals in 2018 which then reduced to 11,439 in 2019, although the number of arrivals has dramatically increased since Salvini and his League party left the government in August and were replaced by the leftist Democratic Party, Il Giornale reports.
Salvini, who closed Italian ports to migrant transport NGOs, is largely credited with dramatically reducing the number of drowning deaths in the Mediterranean sea.
The populist League leader slammed the leftist government coalition for the rise of new arrivals in recent months saying: “Even in December the landings increased compared to the same period a year ago.”
“From September to today, considering the immigrants arriving in Taranto, Italy has received 6,249 people. In the previous eight months, with the League in government and more favourable weather conditions for departures, there were 4,976 arrivals,” he added.
— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) May 25, 2019
According to Il Giornale, the number of new migrants has increased since the new coalition took power in September, compared to the same period last year and claimed that the current government was taking credit for policies enacted by Salvini, rather than their own record.
The policies of Salvini remain popular in Italy, with the League topping opinion polls for months and Salvini himself consistently being voted the most trusted politician in the country, ahead of current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
The coalition of the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party, however, remains unpopular with the vast majority of the Italian public with some polls showing Salvini’s League with nearly as much support as both parties combined.
Cracks in the government coalition have also begun to emerge in recent weeks, with three Five Star Movement senators defecting to the League earlier this month.