EU and Italian leaders tour tiny Lampedusa as tensions rise over surge in migrant arrivals

MILAN: EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Italian premier Giorgia Meloni toured Sunday a migrant middle on Italy‘s southernmost island of Lampedusa that was overwhelmed with almost 7,000 arrivals in a 24-hour period this week.
Tensions have spiked on the island within the days since, with residents expressing impatience with the fixed movement of migrants making an attempt to succeed in Europe from North Africa arriving on their shores, with occasional spikes, for many years.
Tv photographs confirmed Meloni chatting with islanders expressing their frustrations; she advised them the government was working on a strong response, together with 50 million euros ($fifty three.4 million) to assist the island. An unidentified individual in the crowd stated it wasn’t just cash that they wanted.
New arrivals also have chafed on the lengthy wait to be transferred to the mainland; TV footage on Saturday confirmed lots of surging toward the gate as police used shields to hold them again. In other photographs, single migrants climbed over the fence of the migrant middle. Some 2,000 remained this weekend after one other 500 arrived on Saturday.
In the face of the disaster, Meloni has pledged harder measures and is looking for a naval blockade of North Africa to stop migrants on smugglers’ boats from departing. Her inside minister on Saturday held a video call with counterparts from the European Union together with France, Germany and Spain to seek a standard line.
The crisis is challenging unity inside the EU and in addition Meloni’s far-proper-led government.
Vice Premier Matteo Salvini, head of the populist, proper-wing League, has challenged the efficacy of an EU-Tunisia deal that was meant to halt departures in change for financial help. He’s internet hosting French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen at an annual League rally in northern Italy later Sunday.
A lot of the migrants arriving this week departed from Tunisia.
The variety of migrants making the perilous sea journey to Italy has doubled over final yr and is on tempo to succeed in document numbers hit in 2016.

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