Between the 5 Stars and the Northern League, the rag is burning. At issue: relief in the Mediterranean

(B2) Between Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta (5 Star Movement) and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (Northern League), it has never been mad love. Soon the knives were drawn. But there we reach a level rarely reached where the shots with red balls and the accusations of cunning fuse

Official images where E. Trenta and M. Salvini are together are rare. Here at the anniversary of the Carabinieri Special Intervention Group (credit: October 2018 B2 archive)

Salvini accuses Trenta of favoring immigration

The fiery leader of the Northern League criticizes the Minister of Defense " of wanting to put other Navy ships at sea. [Which will] attract new starts and new opportunities for smugglers ". Elisabetta Trenta replies, accusing Matteo Salvini of making a point of even the slightest rescue fact, even of provoking it.

Trenta's reply: Salvini is a manipulator

« When Malta granted permission to the NGO sailboat Alex Mediterraneana to dock (1), he was on the high seas awaiting the arrival of the patrol boats which should have accompanied the voyage to Valletta. But no one has arrived. And the ship decided to head for Lampedusa” says the Minister of Defense in an interview with Corriere della Serra July 7th. " General Pietro Serino, my chief of staff, called the prefect Matteo Piantedosi, offering him the support of military ships. We made it clear that with our ships we could manage the immediate transfer of migrants to Malta. It was better to keep them away from our shores, because even publicly the authorities in Valletta had declared that they were ready to welcome them. »

Silence when the navy intervenes in support

“We were available, ready, for maximum support. We were told we didn't need it. À from that moment no request from the Ministry of the Interior arrived. Salvini chose silence, total, but only institutionally. “On social networks, he was more verbose. NB: The arrival of a ship in Lampedusa serves more the political discourse of the Minister of the Interior than the respect of a good cooperation agreement with Malta.

A mistake to abandon Sophia

« What happened in recent days could have been avoided (2). I told Matteo Salvini: without Operation Sophia, the NGOs will come back. He didn't want to listen to me. And now he complains “assures the Minister of Defense. " The choice to no longer have ships [in Operation Sophia] has weakened the supervision activity, now entrusted to aircraft alone, as evidenced by the increase in 'ghost landings''. »

Four ships at Mare Securo, including one in the port of Tripoli

As for the Italian Navy, it continues to carry out the traditional institutional tasks of defending maritime borders, safeguarding national interests and the security of our community” The 'Mare Securo' operation is still present " off the Libyan coast »(2). « We have four vessels deployed (3), including the Caprera in the port of Tripoli for technical assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard. »

Respect for the military

The minister also goes to the front to defend her unjustly accused soldiers. " I find it inappropriate that he [Matteo Salvini] always attacks the military. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: it takes respect ". What happened in Lampedusa, when the captain of Sea Watch, Carola Rackete, broke through the blockade and entered the port " is a show that I don't approve of ". This puts also in danger the lives of our officers of the Guardia di Finanza ».


  1. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his Maltese counterpart Joseph Muscat reached an agreement then urging all ministers to cooperate, reports the Italian daily.
  2. Vessel Alex decided, despite the ban on entering Italian territorial waters, to return to the port of Lampedusa. The 59 migrants on board were disembarked. But the boat was sequestered by the authorities.
  3. The operation provides for a maximum of six units, five planes and a contingent of 754 people, specifies the minister.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).