February 05, 2018
Silvio Berlusconi has warned immigration in Italy is a “social bomb ready to explode” and promised to deport 600,000 illegal migrants from the country if his centre-right coalition wins power in next month’s elections.
‘Social bomb ready to explode’ Berlusconi pledges to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants
The pledge from the former prime minister, and leader of the Forza Italia party, comes just one day after six Africans were shot by a far-right extremist in the central Italian city of Macerata.
Speaking in a TV interview, Mr Berlusconi also hit out at the European Union for failing to agree on a bloc-wide immigration policy which would share the burden of Italy’s migrant arrivals.
The Mediterranean nation is a favoured landing point for migrant boats making the treacherous journey from northern Africa.
He said: “Today, Italy counts for nothing in Brussels and the world. We will make it count again.
“Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a left wing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don’t have the right to stay.
“We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation.”
The 81-year-old added he would make security a priority and order an increased police presence if his coalition gains enough of a majority to govern.
He said: “When we’re in government we will invest many resources in security.
‘Social bomb ready to explode’ Berlusconi pledges to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants

‘Social bomb ready to explode’ Berlusconi pledges to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants
“We will boost police presence and reintroduce the ‘Safe Streets’ initiative… Our soldiers will patrol the streets alongside police officers.”
On Saturday, five men and one woman from Ghana, Mali and Nigeria were wounded in a shooting spree in Macerata.
Police said Italian man Luca Traini admitted to the drive-by shootings and had shown no remorse. He is expected to be charged with attempted murder and racism.
Officers said the 28-year-old's attack was "a mad form of vendetta" after a Nigerian migrant was arrested in connection with the death of an 18-year-old Italian woman, whose dismembered body was discovered stuffed into two suitcases near Macerata.

Traini had previously stood as a local candidate for the far-right Northern League, one of the two parties Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia has forged an election pact with.
Four-time former PM Mr Berlusconi is banned from running for office because of a previous conviction for tax fraud.
But his right wing coalition looks set to beat the centre-left opposition in the ballot on March 4, though polling shows the alliance will not win enough seats to govern with a majority.
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