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The Italian island of Lampedusa is ovecrowded with migrants

The mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa notes that a huge number of migrants are arriving on the shores of his island. Over the past two days, about 2,000 people arrived there by boats from North Africa, according to France24.

Lampedusa is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia, Malta and the large Italian island of Sicily. It is the first port of call for many migrants who intend to enter the European Union. The approximate population of the island is about 6,000. Mayor Filippo Mannino told Italy’s RTL 102.5 radio:

“In the past 48 hours, around 7,000 people have arrived in Lampedusa, which has always welcomed them with open arms. However, we have now reached a point of no return and the island is in crisis. Europe and the Italian state must step in immediately with a rapid support operation and swift transfer of people.”

Some migrants sat for hours under the scorching sun with their heads covered waiting to be processed by the Italian authorities.

Lots of photos have appeared on the internet showing the huge number of flimsy boats carrying migrants in Lampedusa’s harbour. The official capacity of the island’s migrant reception centre is about 400 people. Hundreds of migrants were transferred to Porto Empedocle in Sicily on an overnight ferry, where they were met by volunteers handing out food.

The sheer number of arrivals poses many problems for right-wing Gov. Georgia Meloni, who came to power last October promising to crack down on immigration.

A spokesman for Italy’s foreign ministry did not comment when asked why the agreement, which pledged €1bn ($1.07bn) of EU funds to help Tunisia’s stricken economy, had failed to deliver on migration.


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