The European Union (EU) border agency Frontex has released new statistical data showing that the tough migrant policies of Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have drastically reduced illegal migration.
The EU agency revealed that the Mediterranean migrant route numbers had dropped from 118,962 in 2017 to 23,276 in 2018, a decline of around 80 percent following the formation of the populist coalition government of Salvini’s Lega and the Five Star Movement Il Giornale reports.
According to the data, the number of illegals in 2018 is the lowest amount since 2012 and showed that while Italy had seen a massive decline due to Salvini’s policies, socialist-led Spain had seen a 157 percent rise in crossings by the sea in 2018.
Fabrice Leggeri, director of Frontex commented on the newly released figures saying, “the Libyan route has become less attractive because of the dangers,” and said that the trend of decline in the central Mediterranean had begun in the summer of 2017 and increased the following year.
Vice-President of the Italian Senate, Roberto Calderoli a member of Salvini’s Lega, said that while the report did not explicitly mention Salvini, it was a clear victory for Salvini’s policies.
“This confirms that the Italian policy, implemented by Minister Salvini and the Government of change, works and produces concrete results, even in terms of lives saved, because Frontex confirms that the departures from Libya fell by 87 percent,” he said.
“These are irrefutable numbers, which contradict what the Left has done in the last five years, when it was, unfortunately, in government, and had brought in over 600 thousand immigrants,” Calderoli noted and went on to add, “we saw that the invasion could be stopped and Salvini did it.”
The Frontex figures follow Italian Interior Ministry reports that have shown illegal migration levels decreased by 95 percent in January of this year compared to January of 2018.