Illegal immigration: Italy declares a state of emergency

ROME. The Italian government has declared a state of emergency across the country due to the onslaught of illegal immigrants. This measure, which is initially limited to half a year, is intended to free up additional funds, the Italian news agency reported ansa. Over Easter alone, around 2,000 people landed in several boats on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.

In addition to emergency aid of five million euros, which is intended to benefit the regions that are particularly affected, the state of emergency makes it easier to set up additional accommodation for illegal immigrants. So far this year, the Italian Ministry of the Interior has registered over 31,000 illegal entries by sea. In the same period last year, their number was 7,900.

Italy’s government wants to fight illegal immigration

According to the Interior Ministry, the most common countries of origin for illegal immigrants are Ivory Coast (17 percent), Guinea (13 percent), Pakistan (11 percent), Egypt and Tunisia (8 percent each), Bangladesh (7 percent), Cameroon (5 percent) and Syria (four percent). Another 22 percent come from other countries or have an unclear status.

Since October 22 last year, Italy has been led by a right-wing alliance under Prime Minister Georgia Meloni. A key campaign promise made by Meloni was to drastically reduce the number of illegal boat people. It was not until February that Meloni’s coalition government triumphed in the regional elections. (JF)

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