Migrants from Africa are slaves, says Italy minister
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