Italy, security-and-migration decree clears Senate

Despite M5S rebels. No chance of govt collapsing says Salvini

07 November, 18:11

    ROME - The Senate on Wednesday approved the government's security-and-migration decree despite a mini rebellion by a handful of members of the 5-Star Movement (M5S).

    The legislation, which was approved with a confidence vote with 163 votes in favour, 59 against and 19 abstentions, now moves to the Lower House. Among other things, the decree, drafted by Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League party, makes it easier for the authorities to deport asylum seekers found guilty of felonies. The package has caused tension within the ruling coalition due to the opposition of some members of the 5-Star Movement (M5S) to certain elements of it.

    "Security and Immigration decree, time 12:19, the Senate approves!!!," Salvini said via Twitter.

    "#Salvinidecree, historic day!".

    The M5S's Upper House whip Stefano Patuanelli said disciplinary proceedings were being opened against five M5S Senators who left the floor when the key vote was taking place.

    The ruling coalition now has to tackle another issue that has caused tension - the M5S's proposal for an overhaul of Italy's statute of limitations to stop criminals getting off because cases time out.

    This has reportedly been met with resistance from the M5S's coalition partners in the League.

    Salvini has said that, while a reform of the statute of limitations was needed, it is also necessary to ensure cases do not drag on forever.

    Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio, meanwhile, the statute-of-limitations reform was crucial for his 5-Star Movement (M5S). "Breakfast this morning with (Justice) Minister (Alfonso) Bonafede to asses the situation on the anti-corruption measures that will soon be debated in parliament," Di Maio said via Instagram. "Prison for the corrupt, bans from public office for the corrupt, statute of limitations (suspended) after the first-instance verdict in criminal trials. "The latter is a fundamental battle of ours for justice".

    Salvini on Wednesday ruled out the possibility that differences between his League party and the 5-Star Movement could lead to the government collapsing. "The government is absolutely not at risk," Salvini said.

    "One by one, it will maintain all the commitments made with the Italian people, full stop. Everything can be resolved with good sense and humility.

    "We'll sort this diatribe soon. "The jackals should accept that this government will keep working for five years".

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