The head of the Italian right-wing and far-right government Giorgia Meloni assured Friday that the migratory pressure suffered by her country with the daily arrival of thousands of migrants is “unsustainable” and asked the European Union to react.
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“The migratory pressure that Italy has been experiencing since the beginning of the year is unsustainable. She is the child of a difficult international situation” in Africa, she said in a video message broadcast by her services.
Ms. Meloni was reacting to the situation on the Italian island of Lampedusa, located less than 150 km from the Tunisian coast, and representing one of the first stops for migrants crossing the Mediterranean hoping to reach Europe.
The situation has never been so tense in Lampedusa. In recent days, the majority of the 11,000 migrants who arrived on Italian territory since Monday have arrived there, according to the Ministry of the Interior, saturating the reception center managed by the Italian Red Cross (CRI), whose capacity is 400 places.
Ms. Meloni also estimated that “tens of millions of people” in Africa could want to leave their countries due to coups or famine, deeming it “obvious that Italy and Europe cannot accommodate this enormous mass” of migrants.
She once again turned to the EU, asking it to react quickly and decisively.
She wrote to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to invite her to come to Lampedusa and see the situation first hand, which is constantly improving thanks to the numerous transfers of migrants to the continent.
She also called on European Council President Charles Michel to put the migration issue on the agenda of the EU summit in October, while announcing that his government intended to take extraordinary measures.