Italy will hold general elections in September, earlier than expected.
Again, Italians will be asked to choose their representatives, and the outcome of the election will affect at least Malta, where illegal immigration is involved.
In this respect, Malta is intrinsically linked to Italy and other Southern Mediterranean countries. Too often the European Union does not understand what it means to have to deal with the huge influx of migrants coming from North Africa and coming to our shores. We promised a commitment but didn’t get any assistance, at least not in the way we expected.
Malta has had considerable disputes with Italy over immigration issues. There was a time when the two countries seemed to be in agreement on how to move forward, but then an incident occurred that set off a clash that weakened relations.
As the Italian people prepare to vote, immigration is at the top of the agenda, with former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini taking a tough approach in his promises.
Prime Minister Salvini pledged last week to move screening centers for people seeking political asylum to North Africa to prevent economic migrants from entering Italy. said it was.
He also expressed concern that Lampedusa’s immigration center was collapsing due to overcrowding, saying it was “unbefitting of a civilized country”.
Salvini made a distinction between those eligible for asylum, saying, “You can’t congregate on the ground on a mattress in 40-degree heat.” “We cannot open Italy’s doors to thousands of secret immigrants who have not fled the war,” he said.
During Salvini’s brief tenure as Interior Minister in 2018-2019, migrant arrivals to Italy declined sharply as he pursued a policy of deterrence.
“I think in 2018-2019 Italy was a safer country, more protected, more normal, more European,” Salvini said. “Lampedusa is the gateway to Europe. It should not be a European refugee camp.”
When Salvini was in charge of Italy’s internal affairs, Marta was in considerable trouble. Her 249 immigrant confrontation from late 2018 to early 2019 is just one example. A makeshift solution was found then, and the stranded migrants were dispersed across her eight European countries.
But migration from Africa to Europe remains a phenomenon that the EU has failed to address on more permanent terms.
It remains to be seen whether Salvini will become a member of the Italian government and, if so, whether he will manage to fulfill his promise to move the screening center to North Africa.
What is certain is that the European Union should look for ways to better deal with illegal immigration. The war in Ukraine has forced the EU to face another migrant priority, but we must never forget that we continue to deal with massive influxes of migrants every week in the Southern Mediterranean.
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-08-10/newspaper-leader/TMID-Editorial-How-election-in-Italy-can-affect-Malta-6736245101 TMID Editorial: Impact of Italian Elections on Malta