Italy’s Salvini says fears about new migrant law ‘surreal’

December 10, 2018

ROME (AP) — Italy’s interior minister is defending a new government-backed law eliminating the category of “humanitarian protection” for migrants, saying it will actually provide more protections to real refugees.

Matteo Salvini dismissed as “fake news of epic proportions” the alarm raised by Amnesty International and other human rights groups that thousands of migrants could be out on the streets as a result of the law.

Salvini said at a news conference Monday that he doubts the critics actually read the law. He called the fears “surreal.”

In his words, “It’s a law that gives greater rights to real refugees, who in the chaotic system that we had were often lumped in with pretend refugees.”

Aid groups say the law could eventually affect as many as 20,000 migrants as their humanitarian permits expire.

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