Italy’s incoming government has defied EU leaders by starting the process of deporting half a million illegal immigrants. President Sergio Mattarella is expected to approve the removal of 500,000 immigrants as requested by the new coalition government led by Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvino.
Express.co.uk reports: They have also said they will build more more detention centres and review the policy of saving the lives of migrants whose boats capsize.
In addition, the coalition’s manifesto also calls for the renegotiation of various EU treaties, including the Stability and Growth Pact, which sets a tough budget deficit limit of 3 percent of GDP.
They are also seeking the cancellation of €250billion in Italian government debt by the European Central Bank, and a revision of Italy’s contribution to the EU budget.
Mr Salvini has said the deportation of undocumented migrants was ‘a priority’, and has pledged to rid the country of what he called ‘delinquents’.
Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star leader, said money to fund tax cuts would be found through investments coupled with the results of the EU budget budget negotiations.
Lorenzo Fontana, a top Lega official, told Politico: “We think that people come ahead of economic obligations and that it’s not possible to impoverish citizens in order to respect constraints decided by others.
“The people come before the economy. For too long these priorities have been backwards.”
Five Star’s Alfonso Bonafede said: “We’ve always been critical of the excessive budgetary restrictions imposed by the European treaties.
“They impede expansive polices in periods of recession or stagnation, damaging not just the Italian economy but putting at risk the financial and political fabric of the entire European Union.”
Their stance, especially on the subject of migrants, is likely to raise tensions throughout the bloc, especially given that Dutch migration minister Mark Harbers earlier this month caused Italy of failing to register migrants properly before allowing them to “slip into Europe” leaving other countries such as his own to deal with the problem.
In a letter to the European Commission, he challenged assurances offered by the EU’s governing body which stated that “the registration and fingerprinting of migrants arriving in Greece and Italy has reached a rate of almost 100 percent”.
Mr Harbers said: “95 percent of irregular migrants and asylum seekers arrive from other Schengen states.
“This means about two thirds still manage to enter and travel through other member states undetected and unregistered, despite all measures taken to improve registration.
“The Netherlands ends up granting protection to large numbers of asylum seekers who consciously refuse to apply for protection in the member state of first arrival.”