Italy’s government has declared a national state of emergency for six months to deal with a surge of migrants arriving on the country’s southern shores. The government’s statement, issued after a cabinet meeting, said the emergency was necessary to urgently implement measures to reduce overcrowding in a migrant shelter on a small Italian island in the Mediterranean. The government also emphasized the need for new structures suitable for sheltering, processing, and repatriating migrants who do not meet the requirements to stay in Italy. The state of emergency will be supported by an initial funding of 5 million euros ($5.46 million), according to the Ministry for Sea and Civil Protection. The civil protection minister, Nello Musumeci, clarified that the European Union (EU) must take responsible action to resolve the issue. Since the beginning of this year, approximately 31,000 migrants have arrived in Italy, which is nearly four times the number in each of the previous two years. On Monday, the Italian coast guard and charity groups rescued 1,200 individuals from two boats in the Mediterranean. After a deadly shipwreck in late February, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called on the EU to take more action against illegal immigration and imposed stricter jail terms on human smugglers.
Photo Credit: Mint