ROME — Maltese local councilor Justin Schembri has praised Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini for standing up to the European Union (EU) on the migration issue, not “letting his country be accomplices” in the “wave of organized crime” occurring on the Mediterranean Sea.
In reference to Salvini’s reiterated promise that as long as he is in office no one will enter Italy without permission, Schembri said he wished leaders of his own country would emulate the Italian.
“That you have a politician ready to put his foot down and defend what he believes in is something to be appreciated,” Schembri wrote in a Facebook post.
“In the past, our country’s great leaders also put their feet down and defended Malta in accordance to what they believed in, and that’s how it should be,” he said.
A member of Malta’s Nationalist Party (PN), Schembri said that despite the emotional outcry against him, Salvini is behaving as a politician should.
“Maybe many stamp Salvini with the term ‘racist,’ but he is likely a sensible person because he wants to stop this planned trafficking, an at the same time not let his country be accomplices in this wave of organized crime,” Schembri said.
“I do not agree with Salvini on a lot of things, including that his country has a crisis of a serious lack of work, so much so that many Italians are going looking [for jobs] in other countries, including Malta, but one must admire that he is capable of standing up to the European Union and his Prime Minister,” he said.
Mr. Salvini has actually listened to the Italian people on the matter of mass migration and is doing something about it, Schembri said, whereas in Malta nobody seems to have enough “guts” to put his foot down.
“Today’s politicians have the obligation to defend what belongs to our children and they are failing us all the time because they are not listening to the call of the people,” he said.