Seven Lega Nord activists wanted to make a point by sailing a rubber dinghy from Italy to Tunisia to show how easy it is for asylum seekers to cross over in the opposite direction. But their adventure ended in a farce. The seven – brothers Diego and Giovanni Murtaro, Michele Brambilla, Gino Troisi, Giacomo Gremini, Fausto Sarti and Remo Girenni, aided and abetted by party secretary Matteo Salvini – left Modena, their home town, early one morning and drove to Melito di Porto Salvo, in the extreme south of Italy, next to Reggio Calabria, where they boarded the rubber dinghy they had brought with them, flying the Lega Nord flag. But when they were near Malta, the dinghy’s motor caught fire. After they had put out the fire, the Leghisti tried to launch a distress signal. Somehow, however, the launcher must have been facing the wrong direction, for the flare pierced the rubber dinghy and they all ended up in the sea. A second distress flare was launched and this time the Maltese Armed Forces were informed and saved the activists from the sea. Apart from being ridiculed all over the Italian press, and even in the Lega Nord paper itself, the seven will now have to pay for being saved from the sea. Instead of covering themselves with glory, they only succeeded in covering themselves with ridicule. And they actually proved that it is easy for sea trips of this sort to end in tragedy – and in Malta, where neither they nor asylum seekers want to land.
In Lega Nord activist’s sortie on Tunesia flaunders in farce off Malta (Malta Independent)