Officials in Rome say the measure was necessitated by a recent surge in the number of landings on the Mediterranean coast
The Italian government has implemented a six-month state of emergency in a bid to deal with a recent surge in the number of new arrivals to the country. As part of this measure, the authorities plan to allocate 5 million euros for the construction of new detention facilities for migrants.
The decision was announced on Tuesday. Civil Protection and Maritime Policy Minister Nello Musumeci cited overcrowded reception centers and revealed a state of emergency had been declared at the request of Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi.
The last time an Italian government used the migration emergency declaration was in 2011 under Silvio Berlusconi.
According to a press release issued by the Italian authorities, they hope to put in place “new structures adapted both to the reception needs and to the repatriation of migrants” who have no right to remain in the county.
Italian media have reported that a special commissioner to oversee the allocation of funds will be appointed in the near future. While several candidates have been proposed in the press, no official decision has apparently been made so far.
By early March, more than 17,000 migrants had landed in Italy, nearly triple the figure recorded over the same period in 2022.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni came to power last year, pledging to step up deportations and stop NGO ships from bringing migrants to Italian ports. Even though the government has managed to reduce the number of these vessels operating off the Italian coast, the number of new arrivals has continued to rise.
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