The government on Tuesday called a state of emergency following the exceptional rise in migrant flows across the Mediterranean. The state of emergency will last 6 months.
Sea and Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci proposed the state of emergency following a weekend when over 3,000 migrants were brought to Italian shores. Backed by initial funding of five million euros, it will last six months, Ansa reports.
The decision follows a meeting on Monday between Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi and Musumeci.
Speaking to Radio Anch’io on Tuesday, Musumeci said: “I spoke with my Interior (Ministry) colleague Piantedosi yesterday, there is a condition of absolute emergency.
“It is a problem that is destined to remain with us for at least the next ten years. A condition that puts state infrastructure under strain and that is inevitable because we are talking about human beings who have rights and toward whom we must take a responsible approach,” continued Musumeci. The minister is also the former governor of Italy’s island region of Sicily, the landing place for many migrants and refugees arriving in Italy by sea.
“The state of emergency should facilitate procedures,” said Musumeci. “We are talking about a phenomenon never seen in the past. The islands alone cannot deal with this state of emergency,” he concluded.
Musumeci said after the announcement: “We willingly endorsed the request of Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, well aware of the gravity of a phenomenon that has registered an increase of 300%.
“Let it be clear, it won’t solve the problem, whose solution is linked solely to an aware and responsible intervention by the European Union”.