Di Maio rebukes Salvini's port lock-down

ROME - Vice premier Luigi Di Maio criticised interior minister Matteo Salvini’s decision to keep ports closed to endangered Italian vessel the Diciotti; “It’s unimaginable to close our ports to an Italian vessel,” he declared, speaking on the La7 programme Omnibus on Wednesday morning.

 The vice premier went on to say “but I do agree that the question of what to do in the Mediterranean is a complex one. The ports should only be closed to ONGs who don’t respect the rules.”

 According to Di Maio, we need to follow “a logical reasoning: first the Libyan coast guard must intervene (for sea rescue) and then the European mission can step in; and seeing as it’s a European mission, the migrants will be dropped off in ALL European ports.”

 The vice premier then moved on to assure that the government is not coming up with a "Plan B" to leave the Eurozone. “The government does not want to leave the Euro. I don’t know if the others will then try to drive us out, but that is not what we want.”

 “If we are in this Monetary Union after all, the ECB really must act as if it is a European bank and change its status to that of a central bank,” Di Maio added, responding to a question asked by Minister Paolo Savone yesterday. “We have said several times that we are prepared to act in accordance to European conditions, and do so it as soon as possible: the first priority is to improve the life of Italians. This also involves re-negotiating with the EU and also with the ECB on a monetary policy level.”

 “Minister Tria and I met with the World Bank with whom we are developing the citizenship income project,” added the Minister of Jobs and Development, underlining that “Italy’s neighbours’ governments are crumbling and breaking up, whereas we continue to rise up: we are the strongest government in the EU.”