In Italy, immigrants have increased by 150% in one year, according to Italian authorities. Most of these migrants come from Tunisia, a country with high unemployment and political instability.
The arrival of migrants in Italy has increased by almost 150% in the last twelve months, most of them coming from Tunisia, the Italian Interior Minister said on Saturday.
In recent months, Italy has struggled to cope with the arrival of hundreds of migrants on its southern shores, a task complicated by security measures due to the coronavirus health crisis.
According to Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, the difficulty lies not really in the number of arrivals but in the extra work required by these measures.
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“There is a need for a protection system for the populations that receive the migrants and for the migrants themselves,” she told reporters.
“Samples are taken, and when they are positive, the person must be treated while the others must follow a fourteen-day quarantine,” the minister added.
Quarantine and tests
As frustration erupts among local mayors, the government has mobilized ferries to keep migrants in quarantine and called in the military in some cases, after migrants who tested positive had escaped from the reception centers.
From 1your August 2019 to July 31, 2020, 21,618 migrants arrived on the Italian coast, an increase of 148.7% compared to 8,691 arrivals last year, according to data presented by Luciana Lamorgese on Saturday in Milan.
Despite the sharp increase, the number of immigrants is still far behind the levels recorded a few years ago.
From 2016 to 2017, Italy registered the arrival of 182,877 migrants. After signing an agreement with Libya for its coastguards to prevent migrations, the number dropped to 42,700 during the period 2017–2018.
Most Tunisian and Libyan migrants
About 41.6% of migrants left Tunisia and 40.5 from Libya. More than a third of the migrants who arrived were declared to be of Tunisian nationality, compared with 12% for Bangladesh and 7% for Côte d’Ivoire.
Tunisia is facing high unemployment and political instability that is driving these migrants to cross into Italy.
Luciana Lamorgese said she would be on the official trip to Tunisia on Monday with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and two EU commissioners.
“It is an important moment and a sign of attention to a country in difficulty,” she told the press without giving more information about the travel agenda.