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
“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
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.”