Giorgia Meloni slams Italy’s open borders as hundreds more migrants arrive on country’s southern islands

“Italy needs a government capable of defending its own borders: the incompetent must leave as soon as possible,” the Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader added

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
A boat full of migrants approaching Lampedusa, Italy. (MTI/AP/Paul de la Calle)

Hundreds of illegal immigrants are once again flocking to the Italian island of Lampedusa as the country continues to experience another winter of discontent, the leader of the national-conservative Brothers of Italy party, Giorgia Meloni has claimed in a social media post.

Meloni wrote in her social media post that “hundreds of illegal immigrants are coming to Lampedusa and that while the Rome government is imposing more and more restrictions on the Italians, our borders remain open as before to mass illegal immigration.

“Italy needs a government capable of defending its own borders: the incompetent must leave as soon as possible,” the Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader added.

Meloni’s remarks follow media reports last week of more migrant vessels docking in the country’s southern ports, with Italian right-wing daily Il Giornale calling the migratory pressures during the winter months “unprecedented.”

The Spanish civilian ship, Aita Mari, with 176 people on board, applied for permission to dock in Lampedusa last week, while a vessel run by the non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders arrived in Sicily on Saturday with more than 400 immigrants aboard, according to Italian authorities.

Aita Mari reportedly got into trouble in the extremely stormy sailing conditions and initially did not receive a mooring permit. The vessel set sail for Sicily and was eventually allowed to moor in the port of Lampedusa. The landing of migrants began in the evening, among whom 23 coronavirus-infected people were identified.

Il Giornale reports that the Aita Mari had not taken the migrants on board in the Italian marine search and rescue zone, yet it had set sail for the shores of Lampedusa. On Saturday afternoon, the Doctors Without Borders ship, Geo Barents, landed in Augusta, Sicily. The members of the group of 439 were tested immediately according to best practice, and six were positive for Sars-CoV-2 virus.

The small island of Lampedusa, home to a population of just 6,500 has been dubbed the gateway to Europe due to its strategic location, some 70 miles off the coast of Tunisia. Since the beginning of the year, there has not been a day without reports of migrant landings. The island’s immigration center, with a capacity of 250, currently holds over 500 migrants.

Nicola Molteni, secretary of state for home affairs of the governing League party said the situation was “worrying and alarming,” stressing that more than 2,000 migrants had already landed in Lampedusa in January, twice as many as in the first month of last year.

In 2021, more than 67,000 migrants came to Italy while this January alone the number was over 3,000.

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