Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the sovereigntist Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) party, has called for a naval blockade off the North African coast to halt the seemingly never-ending torrent of illegal migration flowing into Italy.
Meloni’s statements, delivered days ago, come a little over a month before Italy’s general elections are set to take place, and as the country struggles to grapple with a massive influx of illegal migration that’s witnessed more than 45,000 unvetted foreigners—most from Tunisia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Syria— reach Italian shores since the beginning of 2022, alone, the Milan-based Il Giornale reports.
“The best solution to the problem of migration is to prevent the departures instead of arrivals” Meloni, who is poised to become Italy’s next prime minister, said in an interview with the Italian radio station RTL 102.5.
“Many claim that a naval blockade cannot be carried out because it is similar to an act of war,” she continued, before asking: “Why has the EU never attempted to negotiate with Libya to agree to stop departures?”
Additionally, Meloni called for the establishment of humanitarian facilities throughout North Africa’s migration hotspots to assist destitute migrants—and to better control migratory flows. She insisted that the European power bloc “can negotiate with the Libyan authorities” to restore respect for the rules, limit illegal migration, and prevent deaths at sea.
In a later post on social media, Meloni reiterated the point, saying: “Mass illegal immigration pleases organized crime, human traffickers, and those who profit from the desperate. Not those who defend, the legality, security, and dignity of every human being. Stopping the departure of boats, in agreement with North African authorities, is the only way to restore compliance with the rules and stop deaths at sea.”
“We are ready to defend the borders of Italy and Europe,” she wrote.
Meloni’s decision to keep her party out of Draghi’s recently collapsed technocratic coalition government has indeed paid dividends. With just over 40 days to go until Italians head to the ballot boxes to elect a new parliament, Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) party remains the clear frontrunner, at nearly a quarter of the national vote, according to an opinion poll carried out by the Italian research institute Demopolis.
The same poll places the left-liberal globalist coalition—now composed of Partito Democratico (PD) and Sinistra Italiana (SI), and Federazione dei Verdi (FdV)—at 22.8% of the national vote. The coalition was dealt a serious blow after Azione, a relatively new EU-federalist centrist party that bills itself as an “anti-populist,” “anti-sovereigntist” party, dissolved its election pact with the Left coalition, as The European Conservative previously reported.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.