Mi­grants from Africa are slaves, says Italy min­is­ter

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Nick Squires in Rome

ITALY’S com­bat­ive in­te­rior min­is­ter has again clashed with the Euro­pean es­tab­lish­ment, earn­ing a vul­gar re­buke from Lux­em­bourg’s for­eign min­is­ter, over his views on im­mi­gra­tion.

Mat­teo Salvini ad­dressed a mi­gra­tion con­fer­ence in Vi­enna yes­ter­day and out­lined his op­po­si­tion to Italy ac­cept­ing any more mi­grants and refugees cross­ing the Mediter­ranean from Libya and Tu­nisia.

He said he was to­tally op­posed to the view, sup­ported by some Euro­pean lead­ers, that with age­ing pop­u­la­tions, EU na­tions need to ac­cept more mi­grants.

“I be­lieve that I’m in govern­ment in or­der to see that our young peo­ple have the num­ber of chil­dren that they had a few years ago and not to trans­plant the best of Africa’s youth to Europe,” said Mr Salvini, who heads the anti-im­mi­gra­tion League party.

“Maybe in Lux­em­bourg they need to do this, but in Italy we need to help peo­ple have more chil­dren, rather than bring in mod­ern-day slaves [from Africa] to re­place the chil­dren we’re not hav­ing.”

The re­mark was greeted with ir­ri­ta­tion from Jean As­sel­born, Lux­em­bourg’s for­eign min­is­ter, who was sit­ting close by and started mum­bling, “Blah, blah, blah.”

Mr Salvini asked the min­is­ter if he could be al­lowed to fin­ish his ad­dress, but Mr As­sel­born, who is also Lux­em­bourg’s min­is­ter for im­mi­gra­tion and asy­lum, lost his pa­tience and in­ter­jected into the speech.

He said: “In Lux­em­bourg, sir, we have wel­comed thou­sands of Ital­ians who came to work in our coun­try, as mi­grants, so that you in Italy had money for your chil­dren.”

Nearly 75,000 mi­grants and refugees have reached Europe by sea so far this year, com­pared to 129,000 last year.

The num­ber en­ter­ing the EU by land, how­ever, is at 18,000 so far this year, seven times more than in 2017.

Mat­teo Salvini, head of the far-right League party, was re­buked for his re­marks

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