After floating at sea for several days, the two ships have now received permission to dock in Italian ports. According to the rescuers of the Sea-Watch 3, this happened after the weather conditions in the Mediterranean deteriorated.
The number of migrants trying to reach Europe from North African countries has increased dramatically over the past year. Last month, the United Nations Migration Organization (IOM) calculated that nearly 76,000 people made an attempt in the first half of this year, almost 60% more than a year ago.
Many migrants try to enter Europe via Italy, including the island of Lampedusa. According to local authorities, the number of migrants who reached Italian shores in May and June this year has more than tripled compared to last year.
Change of direction
The distribution of migrants between EU countries has been a hot topic in European politics for years. This week, the Italian government again called on the EU to take in some of the thousands of asylum seekers who have entered the country in recent months. The Minister of the Interior is said to have called for an “urgent” change of course in the EU’s migration policy.
Meanwhile, the issue of migration is also dividing Italian politics. Right-wing populist leader Matteo Salvini, who has opposed immigration with his Lega party for years, wants Prime Minister Mario Draghi to do more to stop the flow of migrants.
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