Italian PM vows to smash migrant trafficking racket

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Rome, June 5 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s populist Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday pledged that his government would stop the “immigration business” that has boomed under the “mantle of fake solidarity”.

“We will put an end to the immigration business which has thrived beneath the mantle of fake solidarity,” Conte told Italy’s Senate upper house of parliament on Tuesday.

Italy’s anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said during a visit to Sicily on Sunday that the island must stop being “the refugee camp of Europe”.

Rather than trying to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean and welcome them, he said that increasing deportations and limiting new arrivals would end up preventing deaths.

“The best way to save lives is to prevent these people from getting on the boats,” said Salvini, who leads Italy’s far-right League party, in the port city of Catania.

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Salvini has pledged to deport half a million undocumented migrants from Italy but critics have cast doubt on the feasibility and the ethics of his plans.

He also says he is considering action against charities saving migrants at sea, whom he has accused of being in cahoots with people-smugglers.

–IANS/AKI

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