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Immigration: Darmanen convenes a meeting on the situation in Lampedusa

The shocking images of thousands of migrants landing on the small Italian island of Lampedusa in just 36 hours left the government unmoved. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has called a meeting, due to take place this Friday afternoon, on the “migration situation” in Lampedusa, one of the main gateways to Europe. More than 7,000 people from North Africa arrived there on Tuesday and Wednesday. Or the equivalent of the local population on this island declaring a state of emergency.

This meeting should take place in the afternoon with the “relevant services” of the police, gendarmerie and immigration service, it was clarified. “Everyone has seen extremely impressive images of this migratory immersion, which, unfortunately, is only the beginning,” Marion Marechal, number two of the far-right Reconquista party, said Thursday as she announced her departure to Lampedusa.

During a trip to Menton (Alpes-Maritimes) on Tuesday, Gérald Darmanin, for his part, announced an intensification of the fight against illegal immigration at the Italian border, where France has seen a “100 percent increase in flows,” he said.

The Interior Ministry did not say at this stage whether France could agree with the decision of Germany, which suspended the reception of asylum seekers from Italy from Wednesday. And this is due to “strong migration pressure” and Rome’s refusal to apply these very agreements.

In Lampedusa, a reception center designed to accommodate fewer than 400 people is overcrowded, with men, women and children forced to sleep outside on makeshift plastic beds, many wrapped in survival blankets.

Nsoe Claudine, 29, from Cameroon, sits with his one-and-a-half-year-old son Prince at a reception center for illegal migrants on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, September 15, 2023. YARA NARDI /REUTERS

Of the roughly 7,000 arrivals, more than 5,000 landed on Italian shores on Tuesday, almost exclusively in Lampedusa, and nearly 3,000 on Wednesday, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry. According to Matteo Villa of the think tank ISPI, this is an “absolute record”.

Source: Le Parisien

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