Naples mayor responds to Italy’s interior minister: Immigrants are not enemies

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Italy’s new hardline minister of interior Matteo Salvini rejected a migrant ship that was loaded with refugees in June, after earlier statements he made saying “illegals should pack their bags”.

The decision led the mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, to accuse Salvini as being a “criminal offender” who takes decisions that are against humanity.


“Fearing others does not keep our environment safe,” Magistris told Al Arabiya.

Magistris said: “Naples wants to build a Mediterranean society in which people live in peace and justice, because fear of the other does not create security, it makes love, humanism and solidarity. We do not want immigrants to become enemies, but we want to face with humanity this great tragedy.”

More than 600,000 people have reached Italy by boat during the past five years from Africa and it is estimated that as many as 500,000 are still in the country.

“In its history, Naples has always been a city that welcomes everyone with different religions and cultures. Our city does not build walls, it builds bridges and considers that difference is a rich source,” he said.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, a Syrian professor in Italy said that refugee reception centers are run by private organizations who receive 35 euros from the country for every refugee who enters.

“Out of this 35 Euros, they only spend five to seven Euros on the refugees themselves,” he added.

Corruption cases were reported where workers from humanitarian organizations also took a portion of the funds allocated to refugees.

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