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State of emergency in force as migrants land in thousands

The Italian government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the large number of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean in a short time. According to the government, the numbers have more than tripled compared to the same period a year earlier.

By declaring a state of emergency, Italy is said to be able to cope better with this large influx. This will make it easier to return people who are not allowed to stay in Italy faster. The declaration of a state of emergency will also release an additional 5 million euros. With this, new reception locations are being set up in the south of the country, reports the ANSA news agency.

The state of emergency, according to the Ministry of sea and Civil Defense, will last six months.

The government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has been in charge in Italy since October. The government promised to curb “mass immigration”. That has not been achieved so far.

According to figures from the Ministry of the interior, some 31,300 migrants arrived in Italy in 2023, compared to about 7,900 people in the same period last year.

On Monday, the Coast Guard reported having rescued twelve hundred more people in several rescue operations. Charitable groups were also involved.

In February, dozens of people died in a shipwreck on the southern Italian coast. After the shipwreck, Prime Minister Meloni urged the European Union to do more to stop illegal immigration.

Now the Italian government is again addressing the European Union. “Let it be clear: we are not solving the problem,” said Civil Protection minister Nello Musumeci. According to him, only Europe can solve the problem by “intervening responsibly”. He doesn’t explain what he means by that.

Due to the location of Italy, many migrants come to Europe through this country, hoping for a better future. Italy is trying to convince other member states to take over migrants, but talks on this have so far come to nothing.

Brian O'Neil

Brian O'Neil is the founder and chief editor. He was a journalist in the original LS TV before it closed in 2017.

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