More than 1,000 migrants have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa in the last few hourswhere European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni traveled today to learn about migration pressure on the enclave.
According to the Italian Red Cross, which manages the port’s reception center, In facilities with a capacity for 400 people, about 1,500 people are waiting to be transferred.
With the visit of the European President to the island closest to the African coast, Meloni will try to secure a larger pledge of aid from the European Union after situations have overwhelmed its aid capacitysuch as the arrival of more than 10,000 migrants in just three days this week.
The tensions on the island have led to this Neighbors called for protests to denounce the lack of funding and NGOs People providing humanitarian aid at sea are demanding a meeting with Von der Leyen.
In the meantime, The number of barges attempting to cross the Mediterranean in precarious conditions, mainly from Tunisia and Libya, is not limited to the shores of Lampedusa and relief operations take place in other places.
The Geo-Barents ship of the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Between yesterday and today more than 471 migrants were rescued, including 205 minorsduring eleven rescue missions coordinated with the Italian authorities, who have assigned the port of Brindisi (south of the peninsula) for their disembarkation.
The coast guard ship Diciotti also reached the port of Reggio Calabria (south). 700 migrants rescued in another series of operations.
Given the emergency, Meloni wrote Late Friday he sent a letter to the commission’s president asking her to visit the island “to personally understand the gravity of the situation.”.
He also announced a package of measures to deter migrants attempting to enter Italy irregularly, including extending the period of detention in detention centers to 18 months, the maximum period allowed by law. People awaiting repatriation.
This morning, in a joint press conference, Von der Leyen announced a European action plan to curb irregular immigration and jointly manage the transfers of migrants arriving on Italian shores.
“I came to Lampedusa to say that illegal immigration is a European challenge and requires a European response,” von der Leyen said.
The announced program It consists of ten commitments, including a solidarity mechanism for other European countries to transfer migrants arriving in Lampedusa from ItalyUpdate European anti-trafficking legislation and define new legal and safe humanitarian corridors.
Von der Leyen also promised Improving aerial surveillance of the Mediterraneanthrough European agencies such as Frontex and Coordinating return protocols with countries of origin to be transferred under safe conditions to migrants who do not meet European asylum conditions.
“We have to decide who enters the European Union, not the human traffickers“, he said in his speech after visiting the reception center, where dozens of barges from Africa arrive every day.
The interior ministers of Italy, Spain, France and Germany also had a telephone conversation with the EU Commissioner yesterday evening. Ylva Johanssonto counter migratory pressure on the Mediterranean coasts, especially after the massive arrivals in Italy in recent days.
“We must give maximum political impetus to implement a new operational strategy against human trafficking, ultimately aimed at implementing concrete initiatives aimed at blocking departures on the ground,” Interior Minister Piantedosi said in a statement.
As the numbers continue to evolve so far this year 127,207 immigrants landed in Italy, almost twice as many as 66,237 according to the latest data updated by the Ministry of Interior.