Salvini’s League Angered as Govt Relocates Migrants to Party’s Northern Heartlands

Migrants warmed by emergency blankets arrive on a boat of the Italian Guardia Di Finanza law enforcement agency on May 17, 2021 to disembark on the southern Italian Pelagie Island of Lampedusa. - More than 1,400 migrants arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa at the weekend, sparking calls from …

Members of Matteo Salvini’s League have slammed an expected relocation of migrants to the party’s heartlands in Italy’s north, with some stating they will not accept any new arrivals.

The Italian Ministry of the Interior has notified mayors across various Italian regions that they wish to distribute newly arrived migrants across the country, but members of Salvini’s League have come out publicly against the move.

Edoardo Rixi and Matteo Camiciottoli, both members of the League in the region of Liguria, were the first to denounce the proposal, releasing a note stating: “Every euro in cash will be used to help families and workers in difficulty. And where we are in opposition, we will make our voices heard loud and clear. For the League to defend borders is not a crime, it is a duty.”

According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, members of the League from Lombardy, Fabrizio Cecchetti and Giacomo Ghilardi, also said they were against the distribution of migrants.

“We will not take any of the 559 immigrants that the [Interior Ministry] would like to sort among the Italian regions. On the territory we have many families in difficulty, many families left out of work and without income, so every euro available serves to help our people,” they said.

The statements come as Italy has seen a surge in migrant arrivals from across the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier this month, the Italian island of Lampedusa saw over 1,200 migrants arrive in a single day, the highest daily number of arrivals so far this year.

Migrant taxi NGOs have also ramped up their activities in the search-and-rescue (SAR) zone off the coast of Libya, with the German NGO Sea-Watch dropping off 454 migrants in Sicily earlier this month and the French NGO SOS Mediterranee dropping off another 236 just days prior.

The Italian government is now looking for new facilities for the incoming migrants as the ships used to quarantine them to stop the spread do the Wuhan virus will be returning to tourism activities in July.

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


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