Salvini ‘crossed red line’ with refugee boat policy, says military

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Italian deputy PM criticised over order to continue turning away migrants at ports

Italian military officials have accused Matteo Salvini of “unprecedented interference” as tension mounts over the far-right interior minister’s policy of closing ports to rescued migrants.

Salvini, who is also Italy’s deputy prime minister, sent a letter to the heads of the navy and coastguard reportedly ordering them to maintain the policy by paying close attention to events at sea, in particular the movements of Mare Jonio, a charity rescue ship that was seized in March after defying an order not to bring migrants to Italy.

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