Italy toughens sanctions on sea rescuers

Under a new security decree approved by the Italian Senate anyone who brings migrants into Italian waters without permission will face fines of up to a million euros, and rescue ships can be confiscated. According to commentators this latest victory for Lega leader Matteo Salvini shows above all two things.

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Avvenire (IT) /

Migration policy is now policy of repression

The law is a crazy idea not just from a humanitarian point of view, rails economic expert Leonardo Becchetti in Avvenire:

“With the passing of this security law our country's migration policy becomes almost exclusively a policy of repression. Rescuing people who are fleeing Libya's camps, places of persecution and torture, is increasingly becoming a crime - incurring enormous human, social and also economic costs. The latter must be factored in because migration helps to improve the economic situation of the new arrivals. They transfer money to those who remained in the home country, thus also supporting the economy of their countries of origin. And they also contribute to the economy of their destination country - in other words Italy.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

How the Five Stars are burning out

This is further proof of the weakness of the ruling party Cinque Stelle, observes the Tages-Anzeiger:

“The party had already sacrificed all its ecological principles. And the little it has done since it came to power has only been halfway successful or poorly communicated. It's burnt out after just one year. One has to concede that from the very beginning Salvini recognised the colossal weakness of the Cinque Stelle and its 'capo politico' Luigi Di Maio better than any of us commentators in the press, and exploited it to his own advantage. Patiently and astutely. ... Di Maio and co. are simply clinging to their ministerial posts and parliamentary seats, and this clinging seems terribly familiar to the Italians. Cinque Stelle has become a caste. If new elections were held today most of its members would be gone and quickly forgotten.”