Thousands of refugees have arrived in Italy over the last week prompting some leaders in the country to say they need to close their ports. Italy has been a popular landing spot for refugees due to its location just north of Libya.

The Guardian reports:

Italy considers closing its ports to boats carrying migrants

The Italian government is considering blocking boats carrying migrants from landing at its ports after nearly 11,000 refugees arrived on its shores in five days.

It has been reported that the government has given its ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, a mandate to raise the issue formally with the European commission to seek permission for a drastic revision of EU asylum procedures. One idea being discussed is denying docking privileges to boats not carrying Italian flags that seek to land in Italian ports, mainly in Sicily or Calabria.

Italy is the main point of arrival for mostly African migrants to European shores this year, and more boats are sent out almost daily. All of those rescued off the coast of Libya are brought to Italy, often by private charities.

Meanwhile, Italy’s neighbours have closed their borders to try to keep migrants from moving north, as they did in the past, and some EU partners such as Poland and Hungary have refused to host some asylum-seekers to ease the burden on Italy and Greece, another frontline country.

This video from New China TV gives you a very real sense of how many of the boats carrying refugees are overcrowded, adding more danger to the situation:

Express UK has more:

EU facing new migrant chaos as summer sees record numbers attempt to cross Med

More than 10,000 asylum seekers were rescued from the Mediterranean in just three days this week, with hundreds more crossing into Greece from Turkey.

The 400 Turkish border crossings suggest that a deal struck between Brussels and Ankara – for migrants to be turned around before reaching the EU – is breaking down.

The figures also raise the spectre of the chaos witnessed in 2015 when the number of migrants seeking asylum was at its highest in 25 years.

The surge in economic migrants searching for a route into Europe – and a new life in Britain – has put UK border officials on high alert.

The UN Migration Agency said 8,863 migrants were rescued trying to reach Italy from Libya between June 24 and 27. And the EU’s border agency Frontex said its boats had recovered a further 2,700 people.

The agency said the fact such large numbers were sailing at the same time was “extremely worrying”.

This report from Euronews highlights Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi who is also calling for a halt on migrants, claiming the city is overwhelmed:

Featured image via YouTube.


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