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A new Salvini's victory

Matteo Salvini has scored another victory after parliament passed a security bill which threatens the captains of migrant rescue vessels with fines of up to €1 million if they enter Italy’s ports without permission.

The passing of the bill further bolsters the strong position of the deputy prime minister, who has made combating migration from North Africa one of his main priorities since coming to power last summer.

The security measure means that the skippers of NGO vessels who rescue asylum seekers in the Mediterranean and try to bring them to an Italian port will face fines of up to €1 million.

They will be arrested and their vessels impounded.

That is a dramatic increase on a €50,000 fine which was introduced in a previous security bill, passed in December.

The new bill, which also gives added powers to the police, won approval after passing a confidence vote in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on Monday night.

There were 160 votes in favour, 57 against and 21 abstentions.

It had already been approved by the lower house.

A threatened rebellion by Left-leaning members of the Five Star Movement, Mr Salvini’s coalition partner, failed to materialise.


Migration remains top concern

While climate change is growing in the public consciousness, migration is still the major issue for more EU citizens, according to the results of the European Commission's biannual Eurobarometer public opinion survey.

Migration remains the top concern across the European Union, according to an EU public opinion poll, although the importance of climate change is growing.

Thirty-four percent of respondents in the new Eurobarometer survey view immigration as the most pressing problem,down six percentage points from last year. However, the issue topped the list of issues in 21 member states, with Malta, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia and the Netherlands having the highest proportion of respondents ranking it most problematic.

For the first time, climate change jumped to the second most important concern, with 22% of respondents mentioning it, according to the biannual poll conducted by the European Commission.

UN :" Italian security law endangers the lives of migrants"

The United Nations refugee agency expressed concern Tuesday that a new Italian law authorizing massive fines against the owners of private rescue ships could endanger the lives of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

A so-called "security decree" drafted by Italy's right-wing interior minister and given final parliamentary approval Monday raised the maximum fine for entering Italian waters without permission to 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from a previous 50,000 euros ($56,000

Le promesse di Ursula Von der Leyen

Un programma ambizioso, la volontà di coesione e una forte disponibilità all'ascolto. Con queste tre premesse la nuova presidente della Commissione europea, Ursula Von der Leyen, è arrivata in Italia per incontrare Giuseppe Conte in una delle tappe del suo viaggio attraverso gli stati membri dell'Ue. "Uno scambio di vedute" come l'ha definito lei più tardi in un tweet, con allegata la foto che la ritrae in compagnia di Conte e del busto di Alcide De Gasperi, nel cui spirito si propone di portare avanti la sua carica. Le visite ai Paesi Ue serviranno per la preparazione di un programma comunitario e per la formazione del suo collegio, che richiede almeno al 50% femminile. Nessun nome certo per il nuovo commissario Ue, tuttavia, è uscito ieri dall'incontro con Conte.

Can Giorgia Meloni become Italy's Marina Le Penn


Written by Giorgio Ghillione

WHEN the ship Sea Watch docked at an Italian port and 42 migrants who had been rescued at sea disembarked in late June, in defiance of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s order, the far-right Italian politician Giorgia Meloni suggested on Twitter that the ship ought to be seized and sunk, after arresting the crew.

The tweet was pretty much in line with Salvini’s rhetoric against rescue ships—only more extreme.

Outside of Italy, Meloni is far less famous than Salvini, who is largely seen as the country’s de facto leader. But at home, Meloni has become one of Italy’s most prominent right-wing politicians. The head of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), a small but growing post-fascist party, she is the one ally from the right whom Salvini’s League party hasn’t cannibalized.

Despite moving his party to the right, Salvini has been more successful at stealing votes from the center-right Forza Italia party than from the nationalist right. As a result, the ally he needs going forward isn’t a man from the center, but a woman from the far-right.