Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has rejected a German plan to return up to 40,000 migrants to Italy, vowing to "close the airports" if necessary.
Responding to reports that Germany is preparing to begin flying migrants to Italy in "the coming days," Salvini blasted the scheme, indicating his willingess to apply the same approach to airports as he has taken to seaports under siege by illegal immigrants.
"If someone in Berlin or Brussels thinks of dumping dozens of migrants in Italy via unauthorized charter flights, they should know that there is not and there will be no airport available," Salvini tweeted. "We will close the airports as we closed harbors."
Se qualcuno, a Berlino o a Bruxelles, pensa di scaricare in Italia decine di immigrati con dei voli charter non autorizzati, sappia che non c’è e non ci sarà nessun aereoporto disponibile.— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) October 7, 2018
Chiudiamo gli aeroporti come abbiamo chiuso porti.#aeroportichiusi https://t.co/XvYgELGTML
Italian and German media recently began circulating reports that agreements had been reached to repatriate "Dublinanti" to Italy, a reference migrants technically bound to Dublin Regulations stating that 'asylum seekers' must file their asylum requests in the first safe EU nation they enter, and remain there until a decision is reached.
"In October, Germany intends to speed up re-entry and is organizing to send two full charters full of 'Dublinanti' to Italy," La Repubblica has reported. "Munich Airport employees told the German news agency DPA that the Bavarian authorities were planning two flights 'in the next few days.' According to sources, Bavarian police officers will board a charter plane to accompany migrants to Italy."
There are reportedly thousands of migrants whom German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer may hope to return to Italy and France in an effort to garner political support ahead of regional elections in his home state of Bavaria.
Nearly one-third of adult migrants arriving in Germany travel there by airplane, according to discoveries made by a member of parliament, and the UN was flying migrants from Africa to Italy prior to the election of Salvini and his administration.
(PHOTO: Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images)