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Italian minister Salvini closes migrant center in Sicily

By The News · 12 of July 2019 08:38:27
AP Photo,, No available, Italy's deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, right, is greeted by supporters in Trieste, Italy, Friday, July 5, 2019. Salvini said Friday that Italy is ready to use more resources to "seal the border with Slovenia and definitively stop the entrance of illegal migrants." But he stopped short of mentioning a plan to build an anti-migrant wall along the Slovenian border, previously mentioned by the League's regional governor. (AP Photo)

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s hard-line interior minister has closed a migrant center in Sicily he says was the largest in Europe as he underlined the decrease in migrant arrivals since he took over a year ago.

Matteo Salvini told reporters in Mineo, Sicily, that that the number of migrants in centers is down from 182,000 a year ago to 107,000 now.

Interior Ministry figures show that 3,073 migrants arrived in Italy so far this year, compared with 17,000 in the same period last year and 85,000 a year earlier. Those figures include 47 migrants brought to shore in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo early Tuesday by Italy’s financial police.

Salvini has refused to allow humanitarian rescue ships into Italian ports, but some migrant boats continue to arrive in Italy on their own.