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Post: Italy wants to take tougher measures against immigration


The Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is completely filled with thousands of boat migrants. Now Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Meloni is introducing tougher measures.

Italy has adopted a package of tougher measures to prevent irregular migration in the Mediterranean. This also includes tightening detention periods awaiting deportation with immediate effect. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government decided on Monday to increase the maximum detention period awaiting deportation in Rome by six months. The army was also tasked with establishing special detention centers for deportations. According to information obtained from those around him in the cabinet, the far-right Prime Minister emphasized that the government was united behind the decision.

Thousands of refugees brought from Lampedusa to the mainland

Over the past few days, thousands of refugees have landed on the island of Lampedusa on boats from North Africa. Last Tuesday alone, more than 5,000 people arrived on the island between Sicily and North Africa; this number was more than ever before in a single day. The first reception center was overcrowded at times.

Thousands of people were then put on ferries and police ships and taken to Sicily or mainland Italy. According to Ansa news agency, there are still around 1,300 people in the camp. Now the situation is somewhat back to normal. With this decision, the government has now reacted to the recent events.

Deportation centers are planned outside cities

In particular, the maximum period of detention pending deportation will be increased from twelve months to 18 months, in order to have more time to check the right to remain and, if necessary, to deport people directly from detention. According to EU law this is the maximum value allowed. Meloni wants to ensure that irregular arrivals can be detained for as long as necessary for their applications to be examined. Deportations need to happen quickly.

It was stated that the Ministry of Defense was tasked with creating “structures” as soon as possible to detain immigrants who entered the country irregularly. These institutions will be built in remote and sparsely populated areas. Meloni said this should not lead to “further discomfort and uncertainty in Italian cities.”

Meloni is under great domestic political pressure due to immigration

The head of the right-wing national party Fratelli d’Italia is under great pressure within the country due to high immigration figures. Tough action against immigrants was one of his key campaign promises. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs noted that more than 129,800 new arrivals have arrived since the beginning of this year; a year ago this number was around 68,000.

The Prime Minister had announced the stricter measures on Sunday during his visit to Lampedusa with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He demanded that immigrants should be prevented from crossing to North Africa. The EU as a whole is needed.

If we do not act seriously and jointly against illegal crossings, the numbers of this phenomenon will surprise first the states at the external border, and then everyone else.

Giorgia Meloni

Von der Leyen announced her 10-point plan

Von der Leyen announced a 10-item plan. The Mediterranean needs to be monitored more closely. “We can do this through Frontex,” he said, referring to the EU border protection agency. The expansion of naval operations in the Mediterranean should also be examined.

We will decide who will come to the EU and under what conditions. And not smugglers.

Ursula von der Leyen

Meloni later stated that he was “pretty optimistic” that evening. “We must stop human traffickers,” the head of government said in the talk show “Dritto e Rovescio” on private broadcaster Rete4. He also renewed his call for a European mission to stop departures from North Africa. “The fight against illegal mass migration and human traffickers is a groundbreaking challenge for Italy and Europe,” he told the cabinet.

Source: ZDF

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