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
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.”