The European right is calling out Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for what they call a betrayal and a U-turn on migration at this crucial moment when the southern Italian island of Lampedusa is overwhelmed by more than 6,000 migrants , most of which flooded the small outpost in a single day last week.
For example, Matteo Salvini and the French Marine Le Pen, who leads the parliamentary faction of the National Congress, have criticized Meloni for his management of the crisisor rather for being missing in action at this crucial moment.
“(There are) problems, problems for leaders who do not realize that there are alarm signs and danger from the massive arrival of migrants in Lampedusa,” Le Pen said at a rally this week. “An island of 6,000 people, where more than 6,000 migrants arrived in a single day… problems for the population where leaders do not act immediately to meet this gigantic challenge.”
The AP called it a direct “swipe” at Meloni, though she was not mentioned by name. Le Pen went so far as to say these same leaders “they justify their cowardice by stating that there is no alternative”.
He added that the European parties he must defend “our people, as Matteo (Salvini) did so brilliantly with courage and pugnacity. when he had the power to do so (…) drastically reducing the number of migrants”.
Some officials in Italy and across Europe have questioned why Meloni has not gone to the overwhelmed tiny island of Lampedusa in person, or why he is not taking a more direct and active role in solving the crisis while adopting more aggressive preventive measures.
Before and after #Lampedusa.
It used to be a beautiful tourist island, now it has become an island of migrants.
Migrants are the majority and nationals are a minority.@vonderleyen he wants all EU members to accept a percentage of these men.
Other EU members say no more… pic.twitter.com/pqiWIcBYgJ
— patrice 🇮🇪 (@patricej36) September 20, 2023
Instead, Europe is debating the 10-point plan offered by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, but so far it does not seem to be coming through. off the ground…
Poland rejects EU proposals to move migrants from Mediterranean island of Lampedusa across member statesa minister said on Wednesday.
“No one can force us to do this. We will act in such a way that we do not accept immigrants. The EU is preparing to introduce this coercion. That is why we are holding a referendum so that the Poles can have their say,” said Deputy Minister Maciej Wasik of the Interior, on Polish radio.
The public vote on migration and three other issues, and parliamentary elections in Poland are scheduled for October 15.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s 10-point plan for Lampedusa includes, among other commitments, support for the transfer of migrants to other EU member states and the return to their countries of origin .
Thousands of migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa have decided to leave the temporary asylum center and are now building road blocks in protest against the authorities.
They demand that they be allowed to go to mainland Europe immediately. pic.twitter.com/OlRVnoMLp0
— Visegrad 24 (@visegrad24) September 17, 2023
Polish officials when asked how many migrants from Lampedusa Poland is willing to accept have replied: “None”.
Meanwhile, there are persistent stories and reports of more ships arriving…
In the last 24 hours, 20 more ships have arrived.
In total more than 18,000! More ships are underway to Lampedusa, Italy.
The local population of the island is 6,000 and is now outnumbered 3 to 1. Areas of the island are now blockaded and controlled by various ethnic… pic.twitter.com/DH7p0jCyUl
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) September 20, 2023
And the island’s limited migrant reception facilities, with only about 400 beds, have long been overwhelmed. Simple infrastructure for food, housing and logistics is extremely scarce, and images of migrants wandering the streets or packed next to facilities continue to emerge.