Firmness is all it takes! Italy's new government, elected in a surge of anti-immigrant backlash, has kept its promise -- imagine that! -- to close the ports through which hundreds of thousands of Muslim "refugees" and asylum-seekers from north Africa and the Middle East have overrun the country. This weekend, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted
Putting it bluntly (and in English), he said, "Enough is enough! Saving lives is a duty, but transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp isn't. We're closing the ports!"
Following up those words with action, Italy as well as neighbouring Malta refused today to let a rescue ship, the MV Aquarius, dock in their ports, leaving 269 "refugees" stranded at sea.
Sgr Salvini and his party, the League, campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform that also included a vow to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants already in Italy. For its part, Malta has consistently refused to take in migrants, citing its small size and limited capacities. Over the past decade, the tiny island nation has reduced the number of migrants it has taken in, from a high of 2775 in 2008 to just 23 last year. All it takes is firmness.
Sgr Salvini pointed to Malta's example when he accused the rest of western Europe of leaving Italy to deal with the "refugee" crisis on its own. He noted that other European countries are very much involved in current rescue operations in the Mediterranean, but no country is stepping up to actually take in the migrants. "Italy has stopped bowing our heads and obeying," he said in a Facebook post. "This time we say no!"
UPDATE: Word just reached us on the mojo wire that the socialist government of Spain has decided to welcome this boatload of... words fail me. More fools they (the Spaniards).
Further reading: "Beware that Latin Mass! The Political Miracle in Italy and Its Link to Catholic Tradition", by Chris Ferrara, Fatima Perspectives, 7/6/18.