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Italy far-right leader visits country's largest migrant 'ghetto'

Europe
17.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - Italy‘s most vocal anti-immigration politician, Matteo Salvini of the League, was visiting Saturday a southern constituency infamous for hosting a huge migrant "ghetto."

Salvini was expected in the city of Rosarno, where an estimated 2,500 migrants live in makeshift camps and work illegally as citrus fruit pickers in a business overseen by the local ‘Ndrangheta mafia.

In January, after a fire in one of the camps killed a Nigerian woman, the Doctors for Human Rights charity described the site as "the largest ghetto in Italy."

After his party scored large gains in March 4 general elections, Salvini was elected senator for Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy‘s boot and includes Rosarno.

This was a surprise, as until recently the League depicted Calabrians and other southern Italians as corrupt and work-shy, and wanted the secession of Italy‘s wealthier north.

Salvini changed his party‘s name from "Northern League" to "League," dropped its anti-southern Italy rethoric and adopted a nationalist, eurosceptic and anti-immigration message.

The 45-year-old, who promised voters the expulsion of more than 600,000 failed asylum-seekers, is seeking a nomination as prime minister in a deadlocked political scenario.

"We are talking to everybody, give us a few days‘ time to allow us to give Italians the government they deserve," he told reporters on Saturday.

But neither Salvini‘s right-wing coalition nor the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which also polled strongly, have a parliamentary majority.

Several weeks of haggling, also including the losing centre-left Democratic Party, are likely to decide whether Italy will get a new government or hold repeat elections later this year.

 

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