Former Italian Minister On Trial for Blocking Migrant Boat

Matteo Salvini served as Italy's Interior Minister as leader of the right-wing Lega Nord party - Image Source: Wikimedia

FORMER ITALIAN Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has appeared in court charged with abuse of power for blocking a migrant ship from entering Italy in 2019.

Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing Lega Nord party, appeared before a court in the Sicilian city of Palermo charged with abuse of power. In 2019, when he was the country’s Interior Minister in a coalition government, he blocked the entry of a migrant ship from docking at the Meditteranean island of Lampedusa.

The boat held 100 migrants that had been rescued at sea, and conditions were deteriorating on board. From Rome, Salvini blocked the ship from entering Italy in a move critics say was an effort to bolster his populist support among the country’s conservative anti-migrant voters. After a local prosecutor intervened, the migrants were finally able to land safely on Italy’s shores.

“I am totally at ease and proud of what I did,” Salvini told Italian media in Palermo following the private hearing. “I am sorry only for the cost of the procedure that is being borne by Italian taxpayers and the magistrate’s time that I have wasted.”

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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