The liberal facade behind Europe’s grand refugee acceptance experiment took a big hit on Friday, when Italy’s Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and head of the ruling Democratic Party, said his country does not have “any moral duty to take in migrants”, sharply toughening his stance over surging numbers of asylum seekers. His U-Turn follows that of Angela Merkel, who infamously accepted nearly 1 million mostly Syrian refugees in 2015, only to see a surge in terrorist attacks across Germany and Europe, and a plunge in her popularity as a result of an angry social backlash, prompting her to quietly but forcefully end Germany’s “open door” policy.
Now it’s Italy turn.
Recall that last week we discussed that with refugees arrivals in Italy up 20% over the same period last year, Rome threatened to close its ports to privately-funded aid boats – many of which are rumored to belong to Soros-linked organizations, or insist that funding be cut to EU countries which fail to help. Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti was angry: “They are sailing under the flags of various European countries. If the only ports where refugees are taken to are Italian, something is not working. This is the heart of the question.”
One can see why Italy may be angry: with the Balkan corridor closed, Italy has emerged as the only port of entry into Europe. More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy over the past four years, the vast majority arriving by boat from Libya. About 85,000 have come ashore this year alone, accounting for the vast majority of European migrant arrivals.