Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called out the papal almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski for turning the power back on in a building where electricity was cut off due to unpaid bills.
Areti, the power network company of Rome electricity utility ACEA, filed a complaint versus persons unknown for illegal connection and stealing energy.
“Supporting illegal conduct is never a good signal,” League leader Salvini commented.
“There are lots of Italian people and legally resident immigrants who pay their bills, even if they are in difficulty.
“As interior minister, I guarantee the rules (are respected).
“If the people in the Vatican want to pay the bills of all the Italians in hardship, we give them a bank account (for it)”.
However, Krajewski said he was unrepentant about the move.
“I did it for the children,” he told Corriere della Sera. “I assume all the responsibility. I don’t have to give any explanations. From now on, I’ll pay the bills”.
Salvini also warned Sea-Watch, a German non-governmental organisation (NGO) not to engage in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.
“Note to the sailors: Do not even think of helping people smugglers to take in immigrants and bring them to Italy, because you will be stopped, with all sorts of legal means,” Salvini noted on Facebook.
“This communication is also addressed to the nostalgics of ‘open ports’ represented in Parliament,” he added.
According to Salvini, Sea-Watch 3 was under a Dutch flag and sailed from Marseille to the Libyan “Search and Rescue” zone. He stressed that a tougher course of action will be taken against human trafficking under the guise of relief organizations.
The Chief of Operations of Sea-Watch 3, Philipp Hahn remains unfazed:
“Europe is using drowning as a deterrent to people who only have the choice between torture and death or the Mediterranean. As long as Europe refuses safe entry routes and the international legal obligation to rescue at sea, we will do everything we can to save as many people as possible.”