Paris and Berlin are pursuing a strict admission policy while at the same time forcing Italy to accept mass migration, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Sunday.
The right-wing leader pledged that the continued fight against smuggling organizations, which also trade in human lives, would define the identity and political culture of her government.
“We have been saying for years that Europe must act because Italy can no longer accept that people smugglers decide who can enter our country,” said Meloni.
She noted that France and Germany “examine at their own borders who is and who is not eligible to enter, who represents useful labor for companies and who does not,” while Italy is expected to welcome all and sundry who are forced upon the country’s borders via the Mediterranean.
Meloni said Italy should not be the only one “paying the price for the flood of migrants from Africa,” calling the current migratory situation “unmanageable” and advocating for the collective expulsion of migrants who are not entitled to stay in the EU.
She echoed earlier sentiments of her foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, who called for the legal entry of a limited number of migrants, with the provision of vocational training; he said it was absurd that multinational companies were hiring foreign nationals because of a lack of Italian labor as some Italians would rather opt for unemployment benefits or the basic income introduced by the previous government.
Regarding the NGO ships arriving on Italian shores, Tajani recently told La Stampa newspaper that he did not know what Rome’s response would be to the next NGO boat full of migrants requesting to dock, but he insisted everyone must respect the rules, including NGOs.
Tajani added that he felt Europe was also beginning to realize that the war was not launched by Rome against the NGOs, but the other way round. Currently, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ship Geo Barents is on its way to Libya in the Mediterranean, and the German-flagged Humanity 1 is at sea again, sailing from the port of Augusta in Sicily.
According to the Italian Interior Ministry, more than 94,000 people had arrived by sea by Dec. 1, compared to almost 63,000 last year. Two years ago, just over 32,000 arrived on Italian shores in the first 11 months of the year.
Meloni also stressed that her newly elected right-wing government would continue to send arms to Ukraine in 2023, counting on the support of her Brothers of Italy (FdI) party’s allies, the Salvini-led League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI). Since the outbreak of the war, Rome has already sent six shipments of supplies worth €450 million to Ukraine.