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Migrants entering the EU. Photo supplied
Rome

Salvini announces budget cuts for pro-migration associations

The leftist funding party in Italy is coming to an end, after the announcement by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini that a series of budgetary cuts will be aimed at migrant aid associations.

Published: June 12, 2019, 10:24 am

    The Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) union confirmed that they have now been forced to lay off thousands of employees.

    According to the union, some 5 000 workers have so far lost their jobs due to the funding cuts in Savlvini’s Security Decree. And social centres are expecting a total of 15 000 layoffs by the end of the year, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported.

    CGIL’s Stefano Sabato said: “Currently we have counted around 5 000 redundancy procedures, to which we are responding with the measures available to us, [which include] solidarity agreements, fund for wage integration, but our interest is to be able to restore ordinary social safety nets to cope with the dramatic situation so that in this way we do not risk a management crisis.

    “If the Security Decree is not reformed or amended within 12 months, we will still have to launch mass dismissal procedures,” he added.

    The Italian labour union [Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro; CGIL] was the Communist Party (PCI) union and has been taken over by the party’s political heirs.

    It has been the most important Italian trade union since its creation, and has a membership of over 5,5 million. Along with the decline of membership within its leftist political counterpart, the Democratic Party (PD), its membership has been in steep decline since 2013, with the percentage of pensioners constantly rising.

    The CGIL is currently the second largest trade union in Europe, after the German DGB, which has over 6 million members.

    Left-wing groups recently complained that their profits were going to decline as a result of the Security Decree which scraps humanitarian residency permits and allows the authorities to evict squatters.

    A few left-wing mayors have said that they would ignore the decree, but the Italian public has shown their overwhelming support, with a poll showing that 63 percent of voters back Salvini on the issue.

    In 2016, it came to light that mafia groups were receiving state funding to run asylum reception centres, and charging migrants “protection money”.

    The director of Italy’s largest migrant centre has meanwhile criticised open-borders activists for doing more harm than good to migrants. Francesco Magnano, the director of the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers (CARA) of Mineo, accused left-wing “do-gooders” of being complicit in thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean, Il Giornale reported.

    Magnano’s comments are a big blow to NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF). They had accused Salvini of creating a “humanitarian crisis” after closing Italian ports.

    Salvini said on Tuesday that there was no restriction on freedom of thought in the government’s new Security Decree. He said the decree, which ups policing and further cracks down on migrants, was a “step forward”.

    But Innocenzo Cipolletta, formerly head of industrial employers federation Confindustria, and the head of business group Assonime said on Tuesday that attitudes last seen in the 20-year reign of Italy’s Fascist regime were returning.

    “Exacerbated political tensions have returned,” he said. “Intolerance often prevails over a willingness to (do) the common good,” said Cipolletta in an address to the biennial assembly of the group.

    Premier Giuseppe Conte and Economy Minister Giovanni Tria were among the audience. “We are sadly growing accustomed to acts of racism and prevarication, while slogans and attitudes of the darkest period of our country’s history have been dusted off”, said Cipolletta.

    He said “we thought we had definitively put the Fascist 20-year rule into the history museums”.

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