More than 1,400 migrants arrive on Italy's Lampedusa.

Boat workers migrating

Boat workers migrating

On Sunday, Fifteen boats carrying 1400 migrants landed on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, and officials said they were expecting numbers to increase as the weather improved. Sunday saw the most significant number of migrants coming ashore in a single day at an Italian port this year." Migrant arrivals are resuming alongside good weather," Lampedusa's mayor Toto Martello told state broadcaster RAI.

"We need to restart discussions about the immigration issue." Around 11,000 migrants disembarked on Italy's coasts from the start of 2021 to May 7, up from 4,105 in the same period last year, interior ministry data shows. Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy's far-right League party, called on Prime Minister Mario Draghi to tackle the issue." With millions of Italians facing difficulties, we cannot care for thousands of illegal migrants," he wrote on Twitter. Some of the boats were intercepted off the coast of Lampedusa by the Italian tax police, who deal with financial crime and smuggling, ANSA said. About 400 migrants of various nationalities got off one of the boats, a drifting fishing vessel, ANSA reported.Another20 meter boat carrying 325 people has intercepted 13 Km off Lampedusa, the agency added. Other migrants reached the Lampedusa coast aboard smaller vessels. All migrants have been moved to the so-called "hot spot", the island migrant centre.

The NGO Alarm Phone, which runs a hotline to rescue migrants, has appealed for help to collect passengers from five boats carrying more than 400 people off Malta. "The situation on board is critical...Needed now," it said." We hope the authorities will not prevent us from going to the central Mediterranean with the same absurd accusations we are used to," Sea-Watch Italy tweeted on Friday after returning from its latest mission. Another ship, Sea-Watch 3, was blocked in March by the coastguard at the Sicilian port of Augusta, again citing security concerns. According to IOM, between January 1 and April 21 2021, 8,604 people arrived in Italy and 65 in Malta, while 359 died en route. Human traffickers often take advantage of calm seas to launch unseaworthy boats toward European shores.

 

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