DThe Italian government has decided on a nationwide state of emergency because of the recent high number of migrations via the Mediterranean route. This is valid for six months and should initially make five million euros available to the particularly affected regions in the south, the Ansa news agency reported on Tuesday. This will not solve the problem, said Nello Musumeci, Minister for Civil Protection. Rather, this would require “responsible intervention by the EU”.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office confirmed the reports on request. With the state of emergency, it should therefore be easier to set up new reception centers for refugees. In government circles it was said that the state of emergency would enable Meloni’s government to carry out deportations more quickly. She has promised to curb immigration.
The arrival of thousands of migrants has been discussed in Italy for some time. The Ministry of the Interior in Rome counted more than 31,000 people who reached Italy on boats this year – in the same period last year there were around 7900.
A number of people try again and again to reach the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily as well as the Italian mainland or Malta with often unseaworthy boats from Tunisia and Libya via the Mediterranean Sea. The highly dangerous crossings sometimes lead to devastating boat accidents, such as at the end of February off the coast of Calabria with at least 90 dead.