The Nationalist Party will not be taking any action against Birkirkara councillor Justin Schembri after controversy arose when he praised Italian deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini in a Facebook post, which he later deleted.
A PN spokesman told Times of Malta that Schembri didn’t suggest Malta shouldn’t save lives of migrants and that he didn’t support Salvini’s policies in this regard.
This was said despite the fact that in his original post, Schembri stated that he “admired (Salvini’s) capability in standing up to the EU and his own Prime Minister.”
“While committing to the role of saving lives, he also expressed concern about the limitation of a small country such as ours” said the spokesman, adding that Schembri clarified his position so that there wouldn’t be any misunderstandings.
In clarifying his position, Schembri said: “My reference to Salvini was solely intended to express admiration at how he is stopping the illegal trafficking of vulnerable people and therefore safeguarding the national interest, despite pressure from the EU.”
Salvini has closed down Italian ports to NGOs’ search-and-rescue vessels.