Italy softens its tough anti-migrant laws

Brought in by the former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the tough anti-migrant laws have been rowed back. The law penalized charity ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of the Democratic Party (PD) tweeted, “The propaganda/ Salvini decrees are no more. We want a more humane and safe Italy.”

During his 14 months of tenure in office, as part of a crackdown on illegal Mediterranean crossings, Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League introduced a “closed ports” policy that allowed authorities to confiscate any boats involved in search-and-rescue operations and fine the captains up to $1.1 million.

With the laws now softened by Italy, the maximum fine has now been dropped to $59,000, but any charities carrying out rescues in line with maritime law and in coordination with national authorities will bear no fine from now onwards.

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