Italy’s ‘minister of fear’

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Interior Minister Marco Minniti credits his ‘desert diplomacy’ with stopping the flow of migrants to Italy.

To his admirers, Marco Minniti, Italy’s powerful interior minister, is the mastermind who solved Europe’s migration problem.

To his critics, he’s the unscrupulous architect of a secret deal with North African militias and thus responsible for severe human rights violations of refugees trapped in Libyan detention centers.

TOPSHOT - A migrant tries to board a boat of the German NGO Sea-Watch in the Mediterranean Sea on November 6, 2017. During a shipwreck, five people died, including a newborn child. According to the German NGO Sea-Watch, which has saved 58 migrants, the violent behavior of the Libyan coast guard caused the death of five persons. / AFP PHOTO / Alessio Paduano (Photo credit should read ALESSIO PADUANO/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – A migrant tries to board a boat of the German NGO Sea-Watch in the Mediterranean Sea on November 6, 2017.
During a shipwreck, five people died, including a newborn child. According to the German NGO Sea-Watch, which has saved 58 migrants, the violent behavior of the Libyan coast guard caused the death of five persons.
/ AFP PHOTO / Alessio Paduano (Photo credit should read ALESSIO PADUANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Since he took office in December 2016, the 61-year-old former communist from Calabria, who spent the first two decades of his career trying not to make headlines, has turned himself into a polarizing protagonist of the…

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