|[Published: Friday July 06 2018]
Italy's Salvini to end migrant arrivals by boat
ROME 6 Jul (ANA) - Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Thursday said he wants to end migrant arrivals in Italy by boat.
The aim is that "not one more person arrives by boat" on Italian shores, said Salvini during a news conference with Ahmed Maiteeq, vice president of the Libyan UN-backed Government of National Accord.
Salvini said that as "a minister and a father" he did not want any more "women or babies to get into rubber dinghies".
"The goal is for those who come to Italy to arrive on planes, even first class," Salvini, leader of the far-right, anti-immigration League, said.
Italy has seen more than 640,000 migrants land on its shores since 2014.
Although the numbers have fallen off dramatically in the past year, Salvini has shoved migration to the top of the political agenda, helping propel his party into government.
Since taking up his post in early June, Salvini has pushed the divisive issue of migration to the forefront of the EU agenda by refusing to open Italy's ports to migrant rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean.
He accuses the NGO ships of aiding human traffickers to bring migrants to Europe.
"Since we made our position known, in recent hours, there has not been a single ship of these so-called 'humanitarian associations' in Libyan waters," Salvini said.
"Pregnant women, children and refugees will remain in Italy," said the minister who has promised to speed up deportations of undocumented immigrants.
"Protection is reserved for humanitarian cases," he added.(ANA)
FA/ANA/6 July 2018-------