Europe’s largest Migrant Reception Center in Mineo, Sicily officially closed in the presence of Italy’s Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini.
“We’re saving quite a bit of money, we’re working to find new jobs for the center’s ex-workers, but Sicily, Catania and Mineo cannot base their future on immigration,” Salvini said as he closed down the center.
The Interior Minister explained that the future was “in smaller and more controlled centers”, after the remaining tenants were moved to another center in Calabria.
Salvini live streamed himself as he walked around the empty camp and talked to reporters.
The Lega leader said that the refugee camp has become a haven for criminals and he closed the center in order to fulfill a promise.
“This was a promise I made not only to the Sicilians but the Italians,” he said.
“The biggest migrant center in Europe, a business of dozens and dozens of millions of Euros, and it had become, as proven by the prosecutor’s office, a center base for the Nigerian mafia, for drug dealing, prostitution, theft and stolen goods, aggression, violence, rape and homicide in Palagonia, just a short distance from here. Now the CARA is closing and it is a beautiful morning.”
Salvini also told journalists that the closure of Mineo center was received favorably by the local residents who no longer have to live in fear.
On the same day, around 50 employees led by Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), protested the closure of the center and asked for job guarantees.
They stood outside the center outside the center with a banner that read, “Today we celebrate the funeral of Cara di Mineo.”
The day after, the anti-migrant leader tweeted the following statement:
“Now Mineo can return to the real economy, that of agriculture, trade and labour, not that based on the business of illegal immigration.”