Immigration: Darmanin calls a meeting on the situation in Lampedusa

The Italian island is facing such an influx of migrants that its population has doubled in a few days, overwhelming reception infrastructure.

The Italian island of Lampedusa has been facing a record influx of migrants since September 12.
The Italian island of Lampedusa has been facing a record influx of migrants since September 12.
© Alessandro Serranò / Avalon / MAXPPP / PHOTOSHOT/MAXPPP

VIt’s been a few days since the island of Lampedusa declared a local state of emergency. Located 150 km from the Tunisian coast, this Italian piece of land is the stopping point for many migrants from North Africa. But this week, the influx is such that the infrastructure is saturated. The head of the Italian government, Giorgia Meloni, calls for help from the European Union. To discuss the situation, the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, called a meeting this Friday, September 15, according to information from BFMTV.

The Lampedusa reception center is designed to accommodate fewer than 400 people. However, on Tuesday alone, 5,000 migrants landed on the Italian coast, a large number of them on the small island. On Wednesday, nearly 3,000 people arrived in turn. An influx which can be explained by good weather conditions, conducive to crossing from Tunisia. According to Frontex, 114,300 people have arrived in Italy from North Africa illegally since January, almost twice as many as at the same time in 2022.

Reinforcements at the border with Italy

On Wednesday, tensions erupted during a food distribution organized by the International Red Cross. These excesses were a new alarm about the critical situation facing the island of Lampedusa.

In July, the European Union concluded a partnership with Tunisia in an attempt to reduce illegal immigration to Europe, the vast majority of which passes through Italy. During a visit to Menton at the start of the week, Gérald Darmanin indicated that he was sending reinforcements to the border with Italy to try to stop illegal entries into the territory.

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