From the left, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day in Rome on January 24, 2019. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
From the left, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day in Rome on January 24, 2019. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

The migration issue remains at the forefront of the race for the European Parliament elections, in which the Italian government majority allies are on opposite sides. Deputy prime ministers Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini have begun to show divergent positions, especially on the Sea Watch 3 case.

The electoral campaign for the European Parliament elections has begun to make itself heard on the issue of migration and the case of the Sea Watch 3. Though both governing allies in Italy, the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League, are united in their firm stance towards the EU, they have begun to show significant differences in other issues. 


M5S positions


M5S, for example, has urged the country to allow the migrants and refugees currently stuck onboard the Sea Watch 3 ship to disembark and then to send them to the country in which the ship is registered: the Netherlands.  "A diplomatic incident is needed for the EU to take on its responsibility," said M5S representative Alessandro Di Battista. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini from the League remains firm that Italian ports are closed.

Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio from M5S supports Di Battista's position and said that the government is committed to providing the judiciary with the means for the Sea Watch ship to be "seized" while reiterating the aim of taking the 47 migrants to the Netherlands without registering them in Italy.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero, from the most moderate part of the government, said that there is "a lack of humanity" on the migrants issue. 

Populist dream for the EU elections 

M5S and the League will be using a populist dream to garner votes for the European Parliament elections against Macron's positions but will be doing so on "parallel" lines. Ahead of the May elections, both Di Maio and Di Battista have been attacking the media "monopoly" on the migration issue, which the League got a head start on. 

Within M5S, Di Maio and Di Battista speak with complementary and only seemingly discordant voices in order to bring the party back together again.

Di Maio has defended the government's actions on the Diciotti case and said that he is willing to testify. On the M5S vote for authorization to move forward on the case, he said that "we will not do them a favor by voting against it." 

Thus, the judges will go forward with the case, especially since the interior minister wants to stand trial. Shortly before, Di Battista had called for the League leader to "give up his immunity, and then we will see."
 

More articles