Italy's Salvini shuts Europe's one-time largest migrant centre

July, 2019

A migrant centre on the Italian island of Sicily which had been one of the largest of its kind in Europe has been officially shut down.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini attended the closure of the Mineo centre, which at its peak housed more than 4,000 people.

The leader of the populist, right-wing League party, has spearheaded Italy's hard-line stance toward migration.

He live-streamed a walkabout tour of the empty facility on Tuesday.

Italy is the main entry for migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe. Its populist government has tried to reduce the number of people arriving by banning rescue ships bearing migrants from docking at its ports.

While the number of arrivals on Italian territory has fallen dramatically from the total of 181,000 in 2016 to 3,071 so far this year, the proportion of dead and missing has climbed to 667 - more than one in six.

Source: BBC