Italy’s far-right, Interior minister Matteo Salvini, is reportedly a big fan of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. So naturally, he has the same stance on immigrants as they do.
Salvini, who is the head of the anti-immigrant Lega Nord party, once again chimed his anti-immigration vitriol at a security and immigration conference hosted by Austria.
While making comments at the conference, the far-right leader likened African immigrants to slaves.
He started with saying that despite his fellow members; he sees things differently and doesn’t think that they need immigration because the population is ageing.
“I'm paid by citizens to help our young people start having children again the way they did a few years ago, and not to uproot the best of the African youth to replace Europeans who are not having children anymore,” he said.
Salvini added, “Maybe in Luxembourg there's this need, in Italy there's the need to help our kids have kids, not to have new slaves to replace the children we're not having.”
The interior minister’s comments were met with criticism.
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's foreign and immigration minister, looked frustrated at the comments and interrupted Salvini by telling him that he had gone too far.
He then referred to the post-World War II era and reminded him of the time when migrants were brought to Europe to meet labor demands.
“In Luxembourg we had tens of Italian immigrants. They came as migrants, who worked in Luxembourg so that you could in Italy had money to pay for your children,” he angrily told Salvini.
Salvini has a long history of targeting the minority population and during his campaign, pledged mass deportation of undocumented immigrants in Italy.
Ever since he assumed office, he has been making good on those promises.
He signaled the government’s hardline stance towards migrants when he said the country wants NATO to help defend its southern shores from an influx of migrants.
Earlier this month, Salvini set off a storm in Europe when he refused to let a migrant ship, Aquarius, carrying 629 people dock in Italy. As a result, hundreds of migrants were stranded at sea with nowhere to go. He wrote a letter to the Maltese authorities and asked the island country to open its doors for the humanitarian ship and said Italy will no longer be “Europe’s refugee camp.”
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Leonhard Foeger