European countries
Migration and mobility

The new Italian government, composed of a coalition between the 5-Star Movement (M5S, anti system) and the Democratic Party (PD, centre-left), which entered the majority in place of the League, announced the easing of the laws against migrants set up by Matteo Salvini sixteen months ago.

The former Minister of the Interior had proclaimed the policy of “closed ports” and had, among other things, ended the two-year residence permits for “humanitarian protection”, a lower level of protection than that granted to a person granted asylum, and which benefited about 25% of migrants in 2017. The head of the Italian extreme right had also introduced very severe sanctions against humanitarian rescue vessels and their captains who risked a fine of up to one million euros.

On Tuesday, 6 October 2020, the Minister of the South, Giuseppe Provenzano, said: A wall was shot down in Italy. It took us a while, a little too long, but now the so-called 'safety decrees' of Salvini are no more». The new government abolished sanctions against NGOs and their vessels and offered “special protection to those at risk of inhuman or degrading treatment or violation of their right to privacy and family life.”

In addition, migrants who have obtained a residence permit will be able to convert it into a work permit and the smaller reception centres for asylum seekers, abolished by Salvini, will be operational again.

In a twitter post, Matteo Salvini reacted to these new laws and said, “The government is opening doors and ports to illegal migrants … Italy deserves better.” It is worthy to note that Salvini appears before the courts for «kidnapping of migrants» in two cases related to blockages of ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea last year.