The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Italy’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Danilo Toninelli, joined the list of Italian senior officials who are attacking France over its policies in Libya and Africa, which they deem to be responsible for migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Toninelli accused France of destabilizing Libya, thus echoing remarks made by Italy’s deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, who accused Paris of creating poverty in Africa through its colonization of the continent and generating mass migration to Europe.
Di Maio’s remarks prompted France’s Foreign Ministry on Monday to summon Italy’s ambassador.
When asked about Italy’s involvement in Libya, which once was an Italian colony, Toninelli said that “the strong destabilization of Libya has a specific cause that goes back to the Sarkozy bombs of 2011.” In a reference to the decision of former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to interfere militarily in Libya following the uprising of 2011.
Despite the fact that migrant boats still leave Libya, Toninelli maintained that his government’s policy on migration is effective.
“The data comfort us,” he said, “from the first of January the number of migrants disembarked in Italy is less than 200, last year, over the same period, there were over 2700. Less boats leave and fewer deaths we will have at sea. We have to work to reset this figure.”