Palemo mayor to appeal to hague agst Salvini migrant policy

Against 'subversive' migrant policy

18 April, 14:06

    (ANSAmed) - Palermo, April 18 - Palemo Mayor Leoluca Orlando said Thursday he would appeal to the Court of Justice in The Hague against what he called Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's "subversive" action against migrants.

    Orlando said he had filed a similar complaint "a year and a half ago" and would now refile it "enriching it with new elements", accusing the minister of violating migrants' human rights.

    "We are seeing a subversive plan by the interior minister," Orlando said in criticising Salvini's closure of Italian ports to migrant rescue NGO ships.

    Orlando was speaking at a press conference along with a lawyer representing the Mare Jonio ship which was recently stopped form disembarking migrants.

    He said they had audio and video evidence of communications between Italian and Libyan coast guards on March 18.

    Orlando also said he was ready to resort to the regional administrative tribunal (TAR) against Minister Salvini's new directive granting prefects the power to step in in place of mayors when the latter were judged not to be doing enough to fight crime and urban decay in so-called 'red zones' of cities.

    "If the prefect of Palermo were to fall into line with the interior minister's directive I will appeal to the TAR on the so-called red zones," Orlando told a press conference.

    "This is a sign of the political involution of this minister, he talks of hunting delinquents, I'm asking what the juridical expression is".

    Prefects will be able to fill in for mayors when first citizens are "distracted" on issues like high crime and urban decay, League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in unveiling a new directive Wednesday.

    "The interior ministry and the security decree offer extra weapons to fight squats, decay, illegal buildings and crime", he said on the directive that envisages greater prefect powers in so-called red zones.

    Salvini has criticised Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi on issues including dysfunctional transport and gridlocked traffic, potholes, uncollected trash and degraded green spaces.

    On Wednesday he said "Roma is stupendous and does not deserve the situation it is in...

    "Is it a clean city, well-organised, well-functioning, with streets without potholes. Doesn't look that way to me".

    The other deputy premier, 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio, defended Raggi, who is an M5S member, and criticised Salvini's directive.

    "I'm of the opinion that citizens choose who govern.

    "It's the ABC of democracy.

    "You express a vote and then you judge at the end of their mandate.

    "That's the way I see it".

    The head of the Italian mayors association, Bari Mayor Antonio Decaro, said "we mayors will not be commissioned off".

    He said Salvini "does not miss a chance to attack us".

    "If Salvini had convened us we would have told him that designating red zones is a bit like sweeping the dust under the carpet: it doesn't solve the problem but simply moves it elsewhere." (ANSAmed).

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