The Italian government has reportedly asked its ambassador in Brussels to request help from the EU in dealing with the latest migration crisis after it was reported authorities are struggling to cope.
Ambassador Maurizio Massari met with the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, yesterday to explain that as a result of thousands of new arrivals Italy is approaching the limit of its capacity. The situation has been described by Massari as “unsustainable”.
According to newspaper La Repubblica more than 12,000 people have arrived in Italy in the last few days alone. More than 8,000 people were rescued in waters off Libya in one 48-hour period this week, Italy’s coastguard claimed.
A different newspaper, Il Giornale, cited a letter apparently written by the Italian government to EU representatives which stated: “Europe can no longer turn its back and pretend nothing is happening.”
The letter argues that Italy will continue to lead search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean but stresses that other EU nations should also resettle and accept new arrivals.
It has also been claimed that Italian ports could begin to deny entry to non-EU citizens or EU rescue ships.