ITALY has passed a law to impose fines up to €50,000 ($56,000) on any boat rescuing African so-called ‘refugees’ from the sea. Those who repeatedly violate the law risk having their boats seized by the Italian government. The regulation also allows undercover police investigations of possible trafficking operations and approves electronic eavesdropping on suspected people smugglers.
Independent “I think we have approved a step forward for the security of this country,” said Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister and deputy prime minister who has further tightened his country’s limitations on refugee rescue boats.
Italy’s cabinet approved the measure two weeks after the anti-immigrant League triumphed in European parliamentary elections.
Last month, United Nations human rights experts wrote to Italy to say the draft decree was an attempt to criminalise search and rescue operations carried out by humanitarian groups. Mr Salvini has repeatedly accused charity rescuers of being complicit with people smugglers.
NGOs have denied any wrongdoing, but most have stopped operating in the Mediterranean due to Italy’s closure of its ports and repeated investigations by prosecutors.
Claudia Lodesani, president of Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) Italy, said: “A year after the announcement of the closure of its ports, the Italian government continues to target search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
“Instead of working together with other European states to create a proactive and adequate search and rescue system, the Italian government criminalises sea rescue.”
Refugee arrivals to Italy have plummeted since Mr Salvini took office, with 2,144 crossing the Mediterranean so far this year, according to official data, down 85 per cent on the same period in 2018 and down 96 per cent on 2017.
Almost 350 have died en route trying to reach Italy, UNHCR and IOM data estimates.
EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS: Italian pro-illegal migrant groups facing massive job cuts of up to 15,000 because of Salvini’s policies.
Breitbart (h/t Thereza B) Following a series of budgetary cuts as part of populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s security and migration decree, migrant helper associations claim they have been forced to lay off thousands of employees.
The Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) union announced the complaint, saying that so far pro-migrant groups have been forced to lay off around 5,000 workers due to the funding cuts in the security decree and added that the social centres were looking at a total of 15,000 layoffs by the end of the year, Italian newspaper Il Giornalereports.
The announcement of mass layoffs in the pro-migrant reception sector come only months after the left-wing groups complained that their profits were going to decline as a result of the security decree.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL: Female German boat captain, 35, faces up to 20 years in prison in Italy for rescuing more than 1,000 illegal migrants in the Mediterranean, after allegedly co-operating with smugglers to traffic migrants to Italy.
Daily Mail (h/t Terry D) Pia Klemp faces trial in Italy for assisting illegal immigration after her boat was impounded in 2017. Italian authorities allege that she colluded with smugglers to collect migrants at Mediterranean rendezvous points and stage rescues at sea.
Pictures taken by undercover officers allegedly show human traffickers ‘escorting’ vessels packed with illegal asylum seekers before they are transferred to aid boats.