Italy’s hard-right Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni has reflected on her failures to curb immigration numbers, according to The Arab Weekly, September 25.
Meloni, a vocal critic of immigration, promised to reduce the number of migrants before being elected however the amount of migrants arriving on small boats to Italian shores has doubled over the past year.
The overwhelming majority of migrants arriving on dinghies are from the North African region and so far, 130,000 have arrived despite Meloni running on an anti-immigration ticket in the country’s general election in 2022.
Italy’s head of state, elected in September last year, told Italian news channel, TG1 that, “It’s clear that we hoped for better in terms of immigration when we have worked so hard, the results are not what we hoped for. It is certainly a very complex problem, but I am sure we will get to the bottom of it.”
The 130,000 number registered by the Interior Ministry is almost two times the amount of last year’s total of 70,000.
Italy’s struggle with migration prompted the Prime Minister to call the European Union for help to solve the issue.
This year in July, the EU signed a pact with Tunisia in an attempt to lower the numbers of people coming to Europe from the North African country.
The deal, which has been largely scrutinised, meant that the European Union would give hundreds of millions of Euros to Tunisia to establish stronger border controls, the clamping down of people smuggling operations as well as supporting Tunisia’s weak economy.
The controversial deal has had little effect on the amount of North African migrants coming to the continent.
Political figures in Italy such as Meloni and Matteo Salvini, a former Interior Minister, have appeared tough on immigration, particularly in the case of Salvini who in 2019 refused to let a Spanish migrant rescue ship arrive in an Italian port. The move resulted in those aboard loitering at sea for multiple days.
The right-wing politician faced legal woes following his divisive actions.
Italy’s main left-wing party, the Democratic Party (PD) recently unleashed a scathing attack on the country’s anti-migrant figures saying, “On immigration, the Italian right has failed, it continues on a demagogic and consciously cynical path, but above all totally ineffective both in respecting and safeguarding human rights and in protecting Italy’s interests.”
THE ARAB WEEKLY