By: Steve Dellar | 06-05-2018 | News
Photo credit: twitter @ZSchneeweiss

Italy - First Diplomatic Row After Salvini Says Tunisia Sends Only 'Convict' Migrants

The new Italian government faced its first diplomatic row after just one official working day when the new Interior Minister, Mr Matteo Salvini, visited a refugee camp in Sicily and later that evening attended a campaign rally at which he stated that Tunisia only sends ‘convicts’ as migrants.

His exact comments were that the African country "isn't exporting gentlemen, it seems more often they're exporting convicts."

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Angered by the statements, which come one day after 48 Tunisian migrants died when their boat went down in the Mediterranean just as they were trying to make their way to Italy, the Tunisian government summoned the Italian ambassador, expressing “profound amazement for the remarks of the Italian interior minister regarding immigration.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tunisia</a> Tunisia protests Italian minister Matteo Salvini&#39;s comments about migrants <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DW</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Eye on Tunisia (@EyeonTunisia) <a href="">June 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Tunis claimed that Mr Salvini’s statements “do not reflect the cooperation between the two countries in the management of immigration and indicate an incomplete knowledge of the various mechanisms of coordination that exist between the Tunisian and Italian authorities”.

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Italy’s Minister of the Interior, now back in the Italian mainland, said he was shocked at what he had seen in Sicily, where most of the African migrants headed into Europe arrive now that the Balkan route has been closed.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tunisia &#39;stunned&#39; by Salvini on &#39;exporting convicts&#39;<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Wrath0fKhan (@TweetingJihad) <a href="">June 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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During a radio interview, he stressed once again that Italy "can't be transformed into a refugee camp. Either Europe gives us a hand in making our country secure, or we will choose other methods."

A few days after their populist government was formed, it would seem most Italians are glad something is moving as the Lega Nord is strengthening in opinion polls. The Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera said that support for Mr Salvini’s party had by now risen to 28.5 percent (up more than 10 percent from his result at the March 4 election).

The Lega's coalition partner, Mr Di Maio’s 5-Star Movement, meanwhile is holding steady at about 30 percent of the electorate. Together the two parties would have no problem winning a new election. However whereas Mr Salvini will focus on immigration and can immediately implement his desired reforms, Mr Di Maio needs the European Commission’s backing to reform the Italian economy.


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2 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 27960 2018-06-05 : 11:40

Facciamo l'Italia Grande Ancora


Anonymous No. 27951 2018-06-05 : 11:59

Facciamo l'Italia Grande Ancora


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