Italy’s Cabinet Declares State of Emergency for Six Months Over Influx of Migrants

Spanish humanitarian Rescue Ship Open Arms off the Sicilian Island of LampedusaInternationalIndiaAfricaROME (Sputnik) – The Italian Council of Ministers on Tuesday declared a nationwide state of emergency for six months “due to the exceptional increase in the flow of migrants arriving in the country on Mediterranean routes,” the press office of the Italian government said in a statement. During a meeting on Tuesday, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said that, since the beginning of 2023, there has been a sharp increase in migration flows in the Apennines. This led to a critical situation in a number of temporary accommodation centers for migrants, especially on the island of Lampedusa. In this situation, it was proposed to take urgent emergency measures in order to normalize the situation in this “hot spot,” in which 1,800 refugees were being accommodated while the center was designed to house only some 400 people. The council decided to declare a nationwide state of emergency at the proposal of Italian Civil Protection and Maritime Policies Minister Sebastiano Musumeci. The Italian government also decided to allocate 5 million euros ($5.46 million) from the National Emergency Fund while pending an accurate assessment of the real financial needs to solve the migration crisis, the statement said. Earlier on Tuesday, Italian media reported that some 3,000 undocumented migrants have arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean Sea over the past three days. WorldOver 6,500 Migrants Came to Italy Over Last Five Days: Interior Ministry28 March, 11:42 GMTThe previous significant influx of migrants was registered at the end of March, when over 6,500 refugees from Asia and Africa reached the Italian coast within five days, which is equal to the number of migrants recorded in the Apennines in the first three months of 2022. Since the beginning of this year, the migration influx has quadrupled, with almost 30,000 migrants having already arrived in the country.

The illegal daily passage of migrants in the Apennine Peninsula became the focus of internal political discussions in Italy after a ship with refugees sank during a storm in the Ionian Sea on the night of February 26.

According to survivors, there were about 180 people from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan on board. Officials said that 89 people, including 34 minors, died in the shipwreck.

Italy seeks a solidarity approach from the European Union to solve the migration crisis, offering to organize a naval mission in the Mediterranean and actively contribute to the stabilization of the situation in North Africa. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in March that “Italy was left alone” to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean.

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