"Our ports remain closed, there are zero incidents of [migrant] disembarkation, and Italians won't pay a single euro for those who arrive again. Europe should (finally) accept the hundreds of migrants that it pledged to take away from Italy last summer," Salvini posted on Facebook.
While Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday that Italy was willing to accept from 10 to 15 migrants, Salvini, known for his tough stance on migration, pointed out that it was exclusively the Interior Ministry that could deal with migration matters, also pledging that he would never agree to accept new migrants.
In early December, the European Commission called on EU member states to distribute among themselves 49 migrants rescued by German NGOs in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Malta. On Wednesday, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that Malta had reached an agreement with other EU member states to allow these migrants to disembark, adding that they would be redistributed among Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The Maltese authorities also insisted that another 249 migrants, already accepted for a temporary stay in the country, should be added to this latest batch of refugees.