Prosecutors launch investigation against Salvini

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation against Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The leader of the xenophobic party Lega is accused of abuse of office and the illegal detention after refugees were forced to spend ten days on a ship. Does the investigation really pose a threat for Salvini?

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Lega leader only stands to win

Salvini is showing the world how Italian-style right-wing populism works, writes Deutschlandfunk:

“He's scoring points with many Italians even though he's breaking the law and using human beings as leverage against the EU. Because the Italians see: from an Italian perspective he is at least partially successful. ... Salvini is thus garnering votes in a most perfidious way - and he hasn't got much to lose by it. ... Salvini will most likely never have to answer to a court because prosecuting a minister is difficult. ... For that the Five Star Movement would have to break with its coalition partner, the Lega, and abandon Salvini to his fate. And Five Star won't do that, even if many of its members don't like Salvini's actions. Because they know: Salvini's Lega and not their own party would benefit from new elections.”

Avvenire (IT) /

The arrogance of power

Salvini must be convinced that he's above the law, jurist Mario Chiavaro fumes in Avvenire:

“The provocative comments and the contemptuous tone Deputy Prime Minister Salvini adopts when addressing the judges who have opened an investigation against him on charges of illegal detention and abuse of power may even seem harmless. Particularly in comparison with other comments we have grown used to hearing from one of the key representatives of our institutions - for instance when he refers to sea crossings that for many people end in death as 'cruises'. But the spirit is the same and that is truly worrying and testifies to an arrogance that is almost unequalled in today's political world.”

Dimokratia (GR) /

Salvini has exposed propaganda

The conservative daily Dimokratia stresses that Salvini at least is not afraid to put his finger in the wound:

“He has exposed the propaganda about refugees from which many profit (funding for NGOs, cheap labour for states and so on) for what it is. And now everyone is criticising him. They want to hurt him simply because he is telling them the truth to their faces: that this game can't be continued at the expense of his country. ... The truth is that in the southern countries where the Germans have pushed through their austerity memoranda and the tough logic of austerity hundreds of thousands of people are suffering, but no one is helping them. At the same time every story about an illegal immigrant becomes the most important topic in the media.” (HU) /

Needless outcry over Orbán's visit

In Italy the planned meeting between Viktor Orbán and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in Milan this Tuesday has triggered an outcry, the pro-government website comments:

“The Italian interior minister is convinced that he and Viktor Orbán have a common goal: to protect Europe's outer borders. In Italy the meeting between Orbán and Salvini has caused an outcry in the left-liberal circles of the former, failed government. The latter has even announced a demonstration under the slogan: 'Italy is not Salvini and Europe is not Orbán.' And the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, has entered the fray and expressed his hope that Salvini will convince Orbán of the need to distribute the refugees across Europe.”