pressing Salvini on Draghi, towards the control room

Sixteen landings and 1,489 migrants arrived. The wave of landings in Lampedusa does not stop. After the first 325, including 11 women, who arrived at 4.10 in the morning, the relay of the Port Authority and Financial Police patrol boats continued throughout the day with sea carts and barges intercepted a few miles from the coast. Around 2 pm there were already 1,186 migrants arriving on the island. Record arrivals which, thanks to the favorable weather conditions, continued in the following hours. In the afternoon, another seven landings brought a total of 303 people to the largest of the Pelagias. A first cart of the sea with 47 men on board was followed by three small boats with respectively 35 people (including 2 women and 2 minors), 19 Tunisians (including 4 unaccompanied minors) and 10 men, also of Tunisian nationality. The port number 14 registered the arrival of 89 men, while shortly after another small boat entered the port with 18 Tunisians. The last to arrive were 85 migrants including 5 women and 2 children, which raised the total number of people who arrived on the island in a few hours to 1,489. A figure destined to increase in the next few hours.

All, after an initial health triage, were taken to the hotspot in the Imbriacola district, which is now collapsing. To try to ease the pressure on the structure, the Prefecture of Agrigento is working on transfers. The boarding of 200 migrants on the scheduled ferry to Porto Empedocle (Agrigento) is scheduled for tomorrow. From here they will subsequently be transferred to reception centers in the province of Ragusa. In fact, there are currently no quarantine ships on the island. Meanwhile, four migrants suffering from tuberculosis were transferred by helicopter rescue to the hospital in Caltagirone, in the Catanese area.

Draghi’s first trip to Tripoli – But if the landings do not stop, it is plausible that Italy will re-propose the flow dossier also in European fora, perhaps already at the EU Council at the end of May. Proportionality and solidarity in the redistribution of migrants are concepts that Draghi, already several weeks ago, had stressed not by chance. The dossier is not just about landings. It is a dossier that starts from afar. First of all, from the situation of endemic instability in the southern Sahel. Added to this are the difficulties that the new Libyan premier Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah is encountering in affirming himself throughout the territory of the North African state. It is no coincidence that Draghi’s first trip abroad was to Tripoli. And it is no coincidence that, recently, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio was on a mission in Mali, one of the areas of origin of the new flows of migrants.

Libyan Coast Guard fires at three Italian fishing boats. The commander of the trade winds was injured

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The migrant theme posed by Di Maio – Di Maio himself, at the G7 Foreign Ministerial a few days ago, put the issue of immigration on the table. “Italy cannot do everything by itself” is the concept that, as sources close to the minister recall, the head of the Farnesina reiterated to his counterparts. Today, the owner of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese took action. The minister, in the afternoon, heard from Draghi in view of the constitution of an ad hoc control room in which, among others, Di Maio, the Minister of Transport Enrico Giovannini, the owner of the Defense Lorenzo Guerini will sit. Furthermore, on 20 May Lamorgese will be in Tunis together with EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson: on the table there will be precisely the issue of migrants. The Interior Ministry, in these hours, is following with the utmost attention a story that must also be monitored in an anti-Covid key. For now the quarantine ships are enough but soon the calls will have to be renewed. There is a fact that, in the government, is evident: the control of the coasts as in Libya so in Tunisia is proving to be ineffective. And the same, it is explained, happens for the desert borders to the south. To this are added the tensions triggered by the attack last Thursday by the Libyan coastguard on three Italian fishing boats.

Libyan Coast Guard fires at three Italian fishing boats. The commander of the trade winds was injured

Salvini on the attack – And the shots came from one of the boats donated by the government to the Tripoli Coast Guard, testifying to the chaos that still reigns in Libya. With a corollary: Italy’s road to increasing its role in Libya, thanks to the influence of Ankara and the coldness of the Gulf countries on the new premier Dbeibah, remains uphill. At Palazzo Chigi, in these hours, however, prudence reigns. Whether Draghi will forcefully put the issue of migrants in Brussels is still too early to say, government sources explain. But Salvini, in the meantime, goes on the attack. “With millions of Italians in difficulty we cannot think of illegal immigrants”, underlines the leader of the League, asking Draghi to meet on the issue. And in the afternoon, the former Minister of the Interior, according to sources from the League, exchanges some text messages with Lamorgese, hoping for an intervention plan to avoid an escalation. But Salvini’s political message is clear: on migrants, as happened with the curfew, he will not stand by and watch. Also because, needless to say, Giorgia Meloni’s pressure on the issue is high: «we need a naval blockade», is the solution proposed by the Fdi leader. This solution is unlikely to be contemplated by the government. Pending the renewal of Frontex’s mandate, which the EU is thinking of, Rome is aiming for a more rigorous redistribution mechanism. In the coming days, in addition to the CDM expected on Thursday to extend the curfew and launch the new supports, Draghi will address the landing alarm.

Last updated: 20:53

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