Migrant Crossings Surge Forces Italy to Declare State of Emergency

Italy’s cabinet has declared a state of emergency on immigration due to a significant increase in flows across the Mediterranean, according to a statement.

The measure aims to better manage migrant arrivals and repatriation facilities and will be backed by an initial funding of 5 million euros ($5.45 million) for a six-month period.

“Let it be clear, we are not solving the problem, the solution can only depend on responsible intervention by the European Union,” said Nello Musumeci, the civil protection minister.

The declaration will allow Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government to more quickly repatriate those who are not allowed to stay in Italy, boosting identification and expulsion orders.

In 2023, around 31,300 migrants have arrived in Italy so far, up from roughly 7,900 in the same period last year.

On Monday, rescue operations led by the coastguard involving two boats carrying a total of 1,200 people were carried out, with charity groups joining efforts to save lives at sea.

Calabria’s governor Roberto Occhiuto said in a statement that “it is right that the interior ministry and the institutions should have special powers to tackle and manage a complex phenomenon which is putting a strain on some southern regions.”

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