Matteo Salvini is confronting Europe’s liberal centre with Trumpian hard truths about migrant boats

There is predictable outrage at the decision by Italy’s new populist interior minister Matteo Salvini to shut the ports to NGO ships carrying migrants from North Africa but, truthfully, no-one in Brussels, Berlin or Paris should be surprised it has come to this.

For years the EU has largely ignored Italy’s rising fury at being left to deal with the migration crisis (even when it came from more politically acceptable figures like Matteo Renzi) but with Mr Salvini in charge, that may no longer be possible. In the end, this might not be a bad thing.

The Salvini gambit might be crude, against EU and international law, and even an offence against common decency, but it might also inject a dose of…

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