- Lucio Malan said aid agencies should stop bringing migrants into Italy
- The senator accused migrants of coming to Italy so they don’t have to work
- Italy has threatened to turn away charity boats packed with rescued migrants
An Italian senator has accused relief organisations rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean of operating a ‘public transport’ service that is ‘enriching’ people traffickers.
Lucio Malan said aid agencies and charities running rescue ships should stop bringing them to his country and take them to the nearest coast instead.
The senator, from the centre-Right People of Freedom party, spoke after Italy threatened to turn away charity boats packed with rescued migrants from Africa.
He claimed that the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean was so regular it was not a rescue but ‘public transport’.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the senator accused migrants of coming to Italy so they don’t have to work and can rely on the public support.
‘All these people are coming to a country which has 40 per cent youth unemployment,’ Mr Malan added, while accusing rescue organisations of worsening the problem.
‘The more there are ships ready to take these people from a few miles from the Libyan coast, the more people leave from the Libyan shores and the more the people traffickers earn money,’ he said.