Guardia Costiera, Italian Coastguard, rescues migrants

Hoped to do “better” on immigration – Meloni


Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni admits she had hoped to do “better” on controlling irregular migration. She came to power a year ago on the promise of dealing with immigration which has since surged.

In Meloni’s interview with TG1 channel, marking a year since she came to power, the PM said she had hoped to have done better with the immigration situation.

“Clearly, we hoped for better on immigration, where we worked so hard,” she said. “The results are not what we hoped to see. It is certainly a very complex problem, but I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party was elected largely on a promise to reduce mass migration into Italy.

However, the number of immigrants arriving on Italian shores by boat has surged not reduced. More than 130,000 have been recorded by the interior ministry so far this year, which is almost double the amount (70,000) from the same period of 2022.

After 8,500 people arrived on the tiny island of Lampedusa in just three days earlier this month, Meloni demanded the European Union do more to help relieve the pressure.

Brussels agreed to intensify existing efforts. Indeed, this week the EC said it would start to release money to Tunisia, the departure point of many of the boats, under a pact aimed at stemming irregular migration from the country.

But Meloni’s main coalition partner, Matteo Salvini of the League party, has been dismissive of EU efforts to manage the surge of arrivals.

The deputy PM closed Italy’s ports to charity migrant rescue ships while in government in 2019. He is currently being prosecuted for taking that action.

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