Salvini Blasts 'Criminal' Italian Government as Thousands of Migrants Flood Islands

Italy's former deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini slammed the Italian government, accusing officials of helping facilitate an invasion of thousands of illegal migrants onto the nation's Mediterranean islands.

The nationalist-populist figurehead recently visited Lampedusa, where over 5,000 migrants have arrived from Africa in the past month alone.

"Here are the hotspots of Lampedusa. As you can see the dramatic situation, there are 800 people instead of 190, almost all adults, male, young, fit and handsome and robust," Salvini wrote alongside photos depicting large groups of foreign males congregated around the island.

"They are not shipwrecked. There is a shameful trafficking in human beings of which the Italian government is a criminal accomplice."

Salvini posted video of himself observing the port at Lampedusa as a boatload of illegal migrants arrived.

“Look, this is the port of Lampedusa in the evening, with people who work hard, who love activities, that has a stage, restaurant and shop, and that is a landing for small boats and large boats," Salvini said.

“Yesterday, there was a record of landings at Lampedusa for recent years. It is impossible. Therefore I can’t wait to see a return of government with serious people to again shut down the ports to criminals and reopen them to decent people and fishermen and tourists.”

Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis and related lockdown measures imposed upon Italian citizens, over 5,000 migrants have arrived in Lampedusa in the past month, according to local officials.

More than 8,000 migrants had landed on the island by July 10th since the start of the year, including 618 in one 24-hour span in early July.

Other islands in the Mediterranean, such as Sicily and Malta, have also experienced a spike in migrant arrivals, many of whom have tested positive for coronavirus.

Video translation and transcription provided courtesy of RAIR Foundation.

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