Italy may buy sophisticated border security system from Israel

Sazzad Ahmed

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini is scheduled to visit Israel on December 11-12. According to public opinion poll, Mr. Salvini is projected as the next Prime Minister of Italy.

Matteo Salvini has also been Federal Secretary of Northern League since December 2013 and the leader of Us with Salvini since December 2014. He has been a Senator in the Italian Senate since March 2018. He previously served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the constituency of North-West Italy from 2004 to 2018.

He has been considered as a hard Eurosceptic politician, holding starkly critical view of the European Union, especially of the euro. Salvini opposes illegal immigration into Italy and the EU as well as the EU’s management of asylum seekers. He is also considered one of the main leaders of the populist wave which shook Europe during 2010s and a member of the neo-nationalist movement, a rightist ideology which emphasized anti-globalization, nativist and protectionist stances.

Commenting on the upcoming Israel visit of Matteo Salvini, senior journalist and Contributing Editor of Blitz, Pierre Chiartano said, Mr. Salvini will show interest in Israel’s sophisticated border security system and equipment, which Italy badly needs to protect its border and stop the inflow of illegal migrants.

Pierre Chiartano said government of Matteo Renzi is responsible for letting over 600,000 migrants enter Italy.

“Largely as a result of his hard line on immigration, the League [led by Matteo Salvini], after winning some 17 percent in the March election, has doubled its support, rocketing past its 5-Star partner,” said Ciartano.

It may be mentioned here that, as a result of the Libyan and Syrian Civil Wars, a major problem faced by Renzi upon becoming Prime Minister in 2014 was the high levels of illegal immigration to Italy. 2014 saw an increase in the number of migrants rescued at sea being brought to southern Italian ports, with the increase in the number of migrants prompting criticism of Renzi by the anti-immigration Lega Nord, the Five Star Movement and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

These migrants had grabbed the job market as well as various types of commercial activities of the native Italian people. When Italians were becoming increasingly annoyed on the migrants, Matteo Salvini emerged as an angel of hope to the people.

After Matteo Salvini became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Italian government passed a law that clamps down on asylum rights and boosts funds for police, handing the right-wing League party leader Salvini his first major legislative win.

The lower house of parliament voted 396 to 99 to pass the law championed by Salvini, who took office in June in a coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. This new law eliminates humanitarian grounds for granting protection to refugees — asylum that is not tied to political persecution or war. It also funnels millions of euros to law enforcement and anti-mafia administrators.

“I’m willing to host women and children who are escaping from war … But all the others, no. I don’t want to be seen as an idiot,” said Salvini.

Italy will still award asylum to war refugees or victims of political persecution. But it will no longer hand out “humanitarian” asylum, which was given to those who had “serious reasons” to flee their home country – a category that has often included homosexuals fleeing harsh anti-gay laws in Africa.

Salvini campaigned on an anti-immigration platform against the backdrop of hundreds of thousands of migrant-ship arrivals from North Africa in recent years, and he closed the country’s ports to migrant rescue ships after taking office.

The League’s backing is now 34 percent, compared with 25 percent for 5-Star, a Noto Sondaggi poll published this week showed.

The new law also foresees the use of electric tasers for the first time by local police, and increases jail time for people who promote illegal occupations of public or private buildings.

In response to a series of attacks in Europe aimed at causing mass casualties, the law heightens controls on people who rent trucks, and strips naturalized foreigners who are convicted on terrorism charges of their Italian citizenship.

In addition to sophisticated border security system, Matteo Salvini may also show interest in the products of Israel Aerospace Industries as well as other defence items. It may be mentioned here that India already is negotiating with Israel for buying sophisticated border security system to protect its borders.

Sazzad Ahmed in the managing editor of Blitz.

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