Number of Illegal Migrants Crossing Sea to Italy DOUBLES in One Month

With crucial government elections just over a month away,the EU Border Agency (Frontex) has revealed the number of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean to enter Italy illegally has doubled in the space of a month.

“The number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Central Mediterranean route in January rose to more than 4,800, double the figure from the previous month, when smuggling activities were affected by fighting in Libya near the embarkation points favoured by the organized crime networks that control people smuggling rackets. This increase has come in a season when it might be expected poor weather would slow the flow,” the agency reported.

“According to preliminary data, Eritreans were the largest group of migrants detected on this route, followed by nationals of Pakistan and Tunisia,” the report added.

A response from the Italian interior ministry claimed that the number of illegal migrants is down overall but appeared to agree with the last point, with ANSA reporting the number of Eritrean arrivals at 1,312, followed by Tunisians at 763, Pakistanis at 279, and Nigerians at 252.

Mass migration has been responsible a rapid collapse in support for the EU among Italy’s younger voters in recent years, with a 2017 report noting the number of resident foreigners has exploded by 270 per cent since 2002.

Opinion polls ahead of the elections suggest Italians are unhappy with the changes in society mass immigration has broyght about, particularly in the cities, with the younger generation the most sceptical about the new, multicultural Italy. A huge 65 per cent of under-35s said they had a negative view of immigration in a recent survey, and polling shows the Italian public’s faith in the supranational European Union, which does much to encourage open borders, is collapsing. The outcome of the election could see an anti – EU coalition take power and fulfill pledges to hold an in / out referendum similar to Brexit.

After becoming the new front line for Europe’s migrant crisis, Italy stopped short of adopting the tough love policy on boat migrants of Australia, which brought seaborne people-smuggling (and drownings) to an end by insisting that illegal migrants would all be turned around or processed offshore and housed in safe countries nearer to home if found to be legitimate refugees.

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