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Matteo Salvini. Photo supplied

Italian rights groups complain about cuts to migrant funding

Rights activists from pro-migration groups in Italy tasked with managing asylum reception centres are complaining about a lack of “profit” after cuts initiated by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

Published: March 9, 2019, 12:01 pm


    They complain that the “quality” of their service to migrants are affected, Il Giornale reported.

    According to Salvini, the funding was being wasted on migrants unlikely to obtain refugee status because at least 70 percent are rejected on average.

    “Who saw immigration as a trough is, as from today, on a diet,” Salvini said. He added that mafia groups and scammers were exploiting the funding to make a profit from migrants but warned that the “the world of hospitality will remain that of true volunteers”.

    Italian mafia groups are allegedly involved in asylum seeker reception centres. In 2016 reports surfaced of criminal groups in Sicily using government money to house migrants while providing substandard living conditions.

    Foreign organised crime groups from North African countries, were also said to be working together with the Italian mafia clans. A report released last year by Italy’s anti-mafia task force revealed that migration had become one of the most profitable businesses for criminal organisations.

    The associations managing the migrant reception centres have been faced with the cost-cutting measure that has brought down the cost of each migrant from 35 to 20 euros per day.

    The associations penned an open letter to denounce the cuts claiming that learning Italian, as well as psychiatric care for migrants with mental issues should be funded too.

    Because of less “company profits”, they say, the pay of those working at the migrant centres, will be affected.

    Meanwhile, a new proposed law will now give victims of crime permission to shoot at a burglar, whether or not the burglar is armed.

    In his fight against crime, Salvini wants to give back power to the citizens. After the Italian Chamber of Deputies gave the go-ahead on Wednesday on the self-defense bill requested by the Interior Minister, it still lacks the final approval of the Senate for it to enter into force.

    “By the end of March, the law will come into force,” says the Minister. It seeks to erase the “principle of proportionality” in self-defense. Thus, the victim of a break-in will have the right to fire on his burglar without being worried.

    Legislation will apply as long as the victim is in a “state of disruption”. A “real necessity” as well as to face an “imminent danger”, are both conditions which will no longer be necessary.

    Representatives of the 5 Star Movement, whose electorate is mainly composed of disappointed leftists were absent at the time of the vote, considering in particular that the qualification of “state of disruption” was too vague and open to many interpretations.

    They denounced the “dangerous” law promoting a form of “personal justice”.

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