More than 2000 illegal migrants have arrived on the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa within only a few hours. As of Monday morning, the authorities registered 20 boats that landed on the island belonging to the region of Sicily in the past 24 hours, reported Italian media. The reception centre is already completely overcrowded. A few hundred immigrants will be brought to the main Sicilian island.
Italy’s Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese consulted with Prime Minister Mario Draghi on how to deal with measures to deal with the recent influx in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport.
Meanwhile, demands from the Lega and Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) parties have outraged Lampedusa’s pro-migration mayor, Toto Martello. Lega boss Matteo Salvini had called for a meeting with Draghi stating that the smugglers, like the non-governmental organizations in the Mediterranean, must be stopped.
FdI chairwoman Giorgia Meloni had reiterated her call for a sea blockade. “The idea of setting up a sea blockade is so obvious nonsense that it doesn’t even deserve a comment,” Martello said ins response.
Meanwhile, the Sicilian judicial authorities seized the ship operated by the Berlin organization Sea-Watch, because too many life jackets were found on board. The sewage system on board is not designed for such a large number of people. The Sea-Watch 4 recently took hundreds of migrant boats on board. The crew had previously also been criticized for hoisting an Antifa flag.
The number of migrants coming to Italy across the Mediterranean rose sharply in the first four months of 2021 compared to previous years. As of May 10, the Ministry of the Interior in Rome registered almost 13 000 arrivals. In the previous year there were around 4 200 in this period, and two years ago it was around 1000.
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