Salvini Against Welcoming ‘Potential Terrorists’ from Afghanistan

Italian deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini meets the journalists during a press conference on the Government's pensions reform, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Populist Italian senator Matteo Salvini said that while he would consider allowing some refugees to Italy from Afghanistan, he was against opening the gates to thousands of “potential terrorists”.

Salvini, the leader of the League and former Italian interior minister, stated that some refugees should be allowed into the country, saying: “Afghanistan: humanitarian corridors for women and children in danger, certainly yes. Open doors for thousands of men, including potential terrorists? Absolutely not.”

Salvini’s comments have been contrasted by those of Enrico Letta, leader of the left-wing Democratic Party (PD), who has called for a “national mobilisation” to help refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the country fell to Taliban forces over the weekend, Il Giornale reports.

“We support Afghan society, its evolution, and women and men who do not want to go back to the Middle Ages. We are there,” Letta said.

Salvini has also been critical of the response of U.S. President Joe Biden to the scenes unfolding in Afghanistan, stating that Biden’s Monday speech was “very bad”.

The call to welcome potentially thousands of Afghan migrants comes as Italy has been inundated with tens of thousands of illegals travelling from North Africa in the last several months.

Over the last year, Italy has seen nearly 50,000 migrants arrive, up 128 per cent from the previous period. The vast majority, 82.6 per cent, have been from autonomous boat landings in places such as the island of Lampedusa and the mainland of Sicily.

Since Matteo Salvini left his post as interior minister in 2019, the country has seen a 673 per cent increase in illegal migrant arrivals.

Another major issue for Italy has been the lack of deportations of illegals, failed asylum seekers, and those denied residency.

In 2020 alone, just one in ten migrants were deported — 3,351 people in total. Despite the relatively small number, the deportations cost Italian taxpayers €4.68 million (£3.97m/$5.52m).

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


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