On the Italian island of Lampedusa, where 6,000 people live, around 7,000 defectors have arrived in the last 48 hours. The European Union has guaranteed that it will help Italy manage the situation on the island.
Lampedusa it is the main entry point on the route of refugees from North Africa to Europe. The mayor of the island Filippo Mannino he said: “We have always welcomed refugees with open arms, but now we have reached the point of no return. The island is in a major crisis. Europe and Italy must act immediately and make it possible to move these people somewhere else.”
Accept center according to official data, the island can accommodate 400 people. Several hundred defectors were thus transported to Sicily at night, where they were greeted by volunteers and given food.
Conditions on Lampedusa they are a big problem even for the right-wing government Giorgio Meloni, which took power last October with a promise to deal with immigration with a firm hand. Meloni has sought to improve relations with Tunisia, where most of the ships now depart from, and in July Tunisia and the European Union signed a pact aimed at curbing the number of defectors.
Almost 124,000 refugees have arrived on Italian shores since the start of the year, almost twice as many as in the same period in 2022. At the same time, the German government announced that it had suspended an agreement with Italy on the voluntary acceptance of refugees, accusing Rome of not respecting its parties to the agreement.
That the European Union is ready to help manage the situation on Lampedusaannounced the spokeswoman of the European Commission Anita Hipperwho added that she is the president of the commission Ursula von der Leyen in contact with Italian Prime Minister Meloni. She added that the EU supports Italy both operationally and financially.