Italy’s new Home Affairs Minister, Matteo Salvini was being somewhat disingenuous when referring to the fact that Malta is closer to Africa than is Sicily (June 9).

A constituent part of the Italian Republic, namely the island of Pantelleria, lies a mere 60 kilometres off the African shore while yet another Italian island, Lampedusa, is located just over 100 kilometres from Africa.

Malta, by comparison, lies over 280 kilometres away from the African coast. Thus, it is Italy not Malta that provides the first port of call in the ongoing irregular migrant shuttle service.