Italy's new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her government want to prevent the arrival of boat migrants.
"This government wants to go down a path that has hardly been trodden until today: stopping illegal departures and finally breaking up illegal human trafficking in the Mediterranean," said the party leader of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia in her first programmatic speech to the Chamber of Deputies in Rome. There she wants to face a vote of confidence in the evening, which her government still needs after taking office at the weekend.
"If you don't want me to talk about ship blockades, I'll just say it like that," said the 45-year-old. She went on to say that her right-wing government, in coordination with the authorities of the North African countries, wants to set up centers in the "hotspot areas" where international organizations will check whether people have a right to asylum.
"We do not want to discuss the right to asylum for those who are fleeing executions," said Meloni in her speech, which lasted more than an hour. They just want to prevent smugglers from deciding who is allowed to come to Italy.
Bad signal for civil sea rescue
Meloni's statements are a bad signal for the civilian sea rescuers in the Mediterranean, who regularly take in hundreds of migrants who get into distress on their way from Libya or Tunisia to Italy. The "Humaity 1" of the organization SOS Humanity, sailing under the German flag, and the "Ocean Viking" of SOS Méditerranée, sailing under the Norwegian flag, are currently underway there. So far they have taken more than 250 migrants on board.
Commitment to Ukraine
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has continued to pledge her country's full support to Ukraine in the war against the Russian aggressor. The right said that Italy, as part of the Atlantic Alliance, continues to stand reliably by Kiev's side. "And not just because we cannot accept a war of aggression and the violation of the territorial unity of a sovereign state," said Meloni. "But also because this is the only way we can defend our national interest in the best possible way."
The party leader of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia stressed that Ukraine's freedom should not be sacrificed in favor of lower energy costs for Europe. "Giving in to Putin's blackmail would not solve the problem, it would exacerbate it," she said.
For months, and thus even before the election campaign, Meloni has been posing as a supporter of Ukraine. She has already phoned Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper (Tuesday), the Ukrainian President said: "I can only report positive things about your new government, I have no negative impressions." He has already established an excellent relationship with Meloni as Mario Draghi's successor.
Proposals for EU improvements
In her speech in the House of Representatives - the larger of the two parliamentary chambers - the politician, who is considered EU-skeptical, also underlined Italy's anchoring in the transatlantic alliance, in Europe and in the G7 group of the world's important democracies. Meloni wants Italy's voice to be heard "within the European institutions, just as it should be for a founding country."
She also announced that Italy will follow all current European Union rules. However, her executive will also make proposals "to change those rules that have not worked, starting with the current debate on reforming the Stability and Growth Pact". Italy will contribute to the international debates with its head held high.