Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi is expected today in the Chamber of Deputies (and Wednesday in the Senate) for urgent information on the tragic shipwreck that occurred in Steccato di Cutro. The owner of the Interior Ministry will have to report in particular on the role played in those hours by the Guardia di Finanza and the Coast Guard, reconstructing the various steps of the story and the related responsibilities of those who act at sea according to the existing regulatory framework, and clarify the doubts about the management of rescues that continue to arouse controversy. "They have always done their duty even with high disregard for danger. It is serious to accuse them, it is unfair", reiterates the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani. The information has been insistently requested by the opposition, in recent days, since, in the aftermath of the tragedy, which has so far counted over 70 deaths, questions have emerged about what went wrong in the chain of command in an intervention that was treated as a police operation instead of Search and Rescue (SAR).
"Italy can no longer remain alone to face the phenomenon of illegal immigration. We no longer want to find ourselves - Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wrote on social media - to mourn tragedies like the one that happened in Cutro: it is our duty, moral even before political, to do everything to prevent similar misfortunes from happening again. For this reason, in the Council of Ministers on Thursday and in the next European Council, the Italian government will continue its battle to stop human traffickers and deaths at sea".
Two important events, one in Cutro as announced in recent days by the Prime Minister, the other in Brussels, both scheduled for Thursday 9 March. Already at the summit of the Med5 countries, which include Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Spain, a clear document signed by the five Member States was produced: countering irregular departures of boats, strengthening returns, increasing border surveillance with Frontex and - to the States that suffer greater migratory pressure - to decide border procedures autonomously and "being able to decide on the application of these procedures on the basis of their capacity and prospect of returns". Regarding the relocation of migrants, Brussels will also be strongly asked to "establish a permanent and mandatory solidarity mechanism that takes into account the real needs of member states".
A fundamental role is played by the migrants' countries of origin. In this sense, the possibility of concluding bilateral agreements with the countries of origin with reward mechanisms (for example an increase in quotas on regular flows) is being studied for those who are more virtuous, or those who fight illegal departures from their territories more effectively. "We must encourage legal immigration - explains Tajani himself -. We can bring tens of thousands of legal immigrants to Italy, trained in their countries, because our companies need them".
Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced that the letter sent by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the need to act in an agreed manner with the EU on the migrant dossier is being carefully examined. And that an answer on how to speed up the controversial Pact on migration will soon arrive in Rome. The EU Commission has also reiterated that in any case lives at sea must be saved.
A call to welcome came, again, from Pope Francis: we need "a renewed commitment to foster the spirit of welcome and solidarity" towards migrants "thus promoting peace and fraternity of peoples", says the Pope in a message to the formation course the "Chair of welcome".
"His Holiness - reads the message signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin - encourages us to consider the presence of so many migrant brothers and sisters an opportunity for human growth, encounter and dialogue between cultures and religions". Then with regard to what Pope Francis said about the need to stop traffickers, Parolin stressed: "Among all the measures there must be that of putting a stop to those who gain on human life". And he reiterated: "For us, the principle applies that first of all we must save people. I think we all agree on what the Pope said. I saw that there was also a comment from the Prime Minister who said he was very much in agreement with the Pope, people who have a little common sense and good will converge on this call".
To underline how much the tragedy of Cutro has "involved and moved" Italians is the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. Concrete choices must be made, urges the Head of State speaking at the University of Basilicata. "May condolences be translated into concrete, operational choices on the part of all, Italy and the European Union, because this is the real answer" to be given after the tragedy of migrants in Cutro. And if entire families leave their country "with pain", there are reasons. "The Afghan refugees reminded us of what our country did two years ago - Mattarella recalled - with the seizure of power by the Taliban, to bring to Italy all the citizens who collaborated. No one was left, everyone was welcomed in Italy. We are reminded - underlines the president - of the scenes of citizens at Kabul airport begging for a ride and make us understand why entire families try to leave their land to seek a future elsewhere".
A clear stance that does not leave the executive indifferent. Chigi explains that the government will be present in full at the Council of Ministers scheduled in Cutro: greater reception for legal immigrants and open war on traffickers, the line to be addressed in the meeting, the beginning of a different path that above all the premier, while denying internal disagreements with ministers Salvini and Piantedosi, seems willing to follow.