Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeE.U.Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has invited von der Leyen to Lampedusa

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has invited von der Leyen to Lampedusa

The head of the European Commission plans to visit Lampedusa as the Italian leader calls for a naval blockade of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, Politico reports.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen plans to visit the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday as Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government struggles with a huge influx of incoming migrants.

According to Eric Mamer, the Commission’s chief spokesman, von der Leyen is travelling to the island at Meloni’s invitation. On Friday, the Italian leader pledged to take “extraordinary measures” to stop the influx of migrants into Italy. Meloni is calling on EU leaders to help with a naval blockade to stop the uncontrolled arrival of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

After a surge in the arrival of illegal migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa this week, Meloni promised to take action. The far-right leader said she had invited von der Leyen to see the living conditions on the island of Lampedusa and sent a letter to European Council President Charles Michel asking him to address the issue of migration at an EU summit in October. Meloni claimed:

“I intend to reiterate a request for an immediate EU mission to block the departure of migrant boats.”

The Red Cross notes that 2,500 of the 3,800 migrants on the island will be moved elsewhere.

The number of people arriving by boat after crossing the Mediterranean has more than doubled this year, to 106,000 so far in 2023, compared to 53,000 over the same period last year, according to government data.

Back in July, the European Commission reached a controversial agreement with Tunisia to curb migrant flows into Europe. Even so, the surge in migrant numbers is putting pressure on Meloni, who came to power last year with intentions of curbing migration.

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