Senate passes security decree despite League-M5S tension

ROME – The Senate has voted to pass Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s security bill, which was presented as a confidence vote for the government.

 The decree, which contains “urgent measures” on international protection and immigration, received 163 Yes votes, 59 No’s and 19 abstentions, while 47 of the 288 present in the Senate on Wednesday did not cast a vote. The bill must now be approved by the House.

 Salvini expressed his happiness at the decision on Twitter, calling it a "historic day" for Italy. In a press-conference held immediately after the vote, he said "this goverment will go on to work for five years," seeing the vote of confidence as evidence that tensions between his League party and fellow Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio's Five Star Movement are surmountable. Factions of M5S had threatened to reject the 'Salvini Decree', as the bill became known, due to their opposition to certain elements.

 Among other things, the bill will facilitate the swifter deportation of asylum seekers found guilty of crimes. Concerns over the stringent measures have been voiced by many within and outside of Italy. The United Nations Refugee Agency expressed its serious concern for the safety and rights of future refugees and asylum seekers in Italy, also questioning whether the decree was in line with the Geneva Convention (