Italy: Migrant Landings Up 948 Per Cent Under Post-Salvini Leftist Govt

TOPSHOT - Migrants wait to be rescued as they drift in the Mediterranean Sea some 20 nautical miles north off the coast of Libya on October 3, 2016. Italy coordinated the rescue of more than 5,600 migrants off Libya, three years to the day after 366 people died in a …

Since January 1st of 2020, a total of 2,553 migrants have arrived in Italy under the leftist coalition government, with February also seeing a surge in new arrivals.

The new figures, particularly those for February, which saw 1,211 migrants enter the country illegally, dwarf those of 2019 — when populist League leader Matteo Salvini was still Interior Minister — when just 60 migrants arrived in the country.

The figures in 2020 are also slightly larger than the same period in 2018 before Salvini was able to enact tighter border controls by banning migrant transport NGOs from Italian ports, Il Giornale reports.

In total, between January and February of 2019, Italy saw just 262 migrants arrive illegally in the country, so the 2,553 of 2020 represent a 948 per cent increase overall.

The number of migrants has also risen month after month since September of last year when the leftist coalition of the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party (PD) formed and Salvini and the League left government.

Members of the PD have made it clear they are looking to scrap the migration and security decrees enacted by Salvini that worked to reduce the number of illegals — and also served to reduce the number of drowning deaths in the Mediterranean.

PD members have not shied away from declaring a desire to scrap the anti-mass migration decrees even in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, which has seen well over 600 cases of the virus emerge in recent weeks across the country.

Former Italian interior minister Marco Minniti, who currently serves as a PD member of parliament, has called on the government to continue the process of scrapping Salvini’s decrees.

“Those decrees must be profoundly changed because they have created the conditions for profound insecurity. The road is obligatory: we must return to widespread welcoming and restore humanitarian protection,” he said.

Migrant transport NGOs, meanwhile, have complained that migrants, along with their crews, have been placed under quarantine due to the coronavirus.

Doctors Without Borders has demanded the Italian government allow their vessel, the Ocean Viking, permission to leave port and resume migrant collection operations off the coast of Libya.

“When the Covid-19 epidemic hit Italy, the Ocean Viking was quarantined and complied with all indicated measures. But after five days of blockade, it is now clear that these measures are applied only to humanitarian ships,” the group claimed.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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