Giorgia Meloni declares total war on smugglers: “In Italy, illegal entry is no longer relevant!”

On the beach of Steccato di Cutro in the south of Calabria, three crosses are embedded in the sand. They were made of pieces of wood from the wreck of a boat that turned up a few tens of meters off the Calabrian coast on February 26. To date, the sea has recovered seventy-two bodies, including twenty-nine children, but many more remain missing. Eighty-one survivors, mostly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Somalia, were staying at a nearby hotel.

Even after 11 days of the tragedy, the political controversy has not subsided. The head of government, Giorgia Meloni, who was accused of negligence by not going to the scene immediately, decided to convene an extraordinary cabinet in Kutrow to take new measures against illegal immigration. “killers” Some demonstrators shouted as they threw stuffed animals at passing government cars to commemorate the tragedy of the children who died in the drowning. No one here has forgotten the coolness and words of Interior Minister Matteo Piantossi who announced the day after the sinking: “Desperation should never justify travel conditions that endanger the lives of one’s own children. This lack of sympathy for families trying to escape Taliban-like terror regimes has caused a political and media firestorm that a ministerial council convened in Calabria on Thursday tried to calm.

Steccato di Cutro beach, south of Calabria, where a migrant boat ran aground, killing at least 72 ©AFP or licensees.

Iron fist against smugglers

After unveiling a memorial plaque to those who died in the drowning, the government met for two hours in Kutrow’s town hall. “We want to make it clear that Italy is no longer suitable for illegal entry! Georgia Meloni is setting the tone, and her government’s response to this migrant tragedy has been an “iron fist” mandate, increasing fines for those who organize migrant smuggling and reducing special protections for those arriving illegally. “The death of people at sea by smugglers is punishable by up to thirty years in prison. The head of the council adds that Italy will pursue traffickers beyond the peninsula’s borders. “On the other hand, we modify the flow mandate for foreign workers. Govt explains. Under pressure from companies and farmers who need workers, the Italian government will increase the number of workers allowed to enter the country if they have a work permit, a complex process that allows tens of thousands of seasonal workers to obtain residence permits. Every year. “It is only the policy of migrant flows that provides a dignified life for migrants. says Georgia Meloni. There is not even a word for those coming from countries for war or other reasons, because it is always impossible to enter Italy without a work permit.

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Is politics fake?

“It is pure hypocrisy to set up a Council of Ministers in Kadro”, Democratic Deputy Alessandro John believes so. “It was delayed as a response from the government”. Adds Ellie Schlein, the new opposition secretary, who, unlike Georgia Meloney, made the trip to meditate on the victims’ coffins three days after the sinking. The theme of migration, ubiquitous in the election campaigns of Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini, has ironically become the Achilles’ heel of this right-wing and far-right government, which has accused Italy of abandoning migrants with the arrival of the EU. “After the tragedy, I wrote to the European authorities to demand concrete and immediate action. says Georgia Meloni. “We need answers, more coordination and resources. Basically, we ask the next European Council to take concrete steps. We want to establish the principle that we will not accept this human trafficking of the third millennium!

Georgia Meloni has received a written response from Commission President Ursula van der Leyen. Lampedusa is an Italian island in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. The island’s welcome center is overflowing. But the Italian government’s move this Thursday in Cutro will not solve the problem, leaving smugglers to fend for themselves at sea and avoid legal action.

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