The Italian government has proposed several measures to curb the mass arrival of refugees, who are coming to Italy in record numbers this year – mainly from African countries.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni already announced on Sunday, after the visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, that her government will tighten control over illegal migration.
“This means – and I am making this very clear to all of Africa – if you rely on breaking Italian law on human traffickers, you must be aware that upon arrival in Italy you will be arrested and then sent back to your homeland,” she said in a television interview.
Among other things, Meloni emphasized the measure of extending the maximum period allowed for the detention of illegal immigrants from 135 days on 18 months. The last one was already allowed between 2011 and 2014 before it on 135 days shortened by Matteo Renzi’s government.
Among the measures, she also mentioned the establishment of new ones centers to detain illegal immigrants. There are currently such centers nine in Italy, and new ones are to be built on already designated sparsely populated areas. This will prevent it “inconvenience and uncertainty in Italian cities”she said.
Existing centers have a limited maximum capacity on 1161 people, and last year they accommodated almost 6400 people. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, more than 127,000 defectors have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, while 66,200 arrivals were detected in the whole year last year.
Meloni already announced the tightening of measures against illegal immigrants a few days ago. On Sunday, she visited the island together with the President of the European Commission Lampedusawhere many defectors from North Africa come.
At the same time, Von der Leyen presented a ten-point European action plan for rescue migration pressure on Italy, which, in addition to the fight against smugglers and the possibility of expanding naval missions in the Mediterranean, also includes support for Italy in the transfer of refugees from Lampedusa.
To an island that takes on the biggest migration the wave so far, according to the data of the UN agency for migration, is only between Monday and Wednesday on About 8,500 people arrived in 199 boats, which is more than the population of this island.
Escape of at least a hundred defectors
In the reception room center for defectors to Porto Empedocles on the south of Sicily, where they came from the island a few days ago Lampedusa relocated a large number of defectors, chaos reigns due to overcrowding and at least a hundred defectors left arbitrarily center.
At least a hundred defectors climbed over the fence of the reception area centerwhere more than a thousand people were said to be staying, and left, injuring at least one police officer, according to the Italian news agency Ansa. Center to Porto Empedocles otherwise it is of a transitory nature. Of these, defectors should be transferred to centers in other parts of Italy, but there were delays due to transport problems.
Defectors who are center arbitrarily abandoned, now wanted by the police. Mayor of Porto Empedocles Calogera Martello was until the situation in center critical and called them intolerable and inhumane.
“They didn’t run away to go to other places, but to find food and drink,” he told an Italian news portal RaiNews and asked for help from the government. He added that groups of defectors walking around the city instilled fear among local residents. Overcrowded reception center otherwise, only about 20 police officers are supposed to guard it.
France and Germany will not accept defectors
France does not intend to accept the refugees who have arrived in recent days on Lampedusaannounced French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who assured that France is ready to help Italy control the border.
Speaking to Europe 1 radio before today’s visit to Rome, Darmanin assessed that it is not possible to expect an immediate transfer of defectors across Europe. “It would be a mistake to think that refugees arriving in Europe should be immediately distributed throughout Europe and France, which already bears part of the burden,” he said.
As RTV Slovenia’s correspondent from Berlin, Maja Derčar, reported, even Germany does not intend to accept defectors who have arrived since the middle of last week within the framework of the voluntary solidarity mechanism on Italian island Lampedusa. The reason is that Italy has so far not allowed the return of 12,400 asylum seekers who came to Germany illegally from its territory. The largest European country is not currently planning stationary checkpoints on its borders, but keeps those between Bavaria and Austria. But he predicts a tougher fight against the smuggling of defectors.