An estimated 10,000 migrants landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa last week alone, putting serious pressure on local infrastructure that is suitable for just 400. Border crossings of migrants into France are also rising, forcing French authorities to call in reinforcements and deny rumours of the creation of a camp near Menton.
200 boats containing a reported 10,000 migrants arrived on the shores of Lampedusa the last week, according to media reports, leading Italian officials to reach out to their European neighbours to ask for assistance.
France’s Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, travelled to Rome at the start of this week to meet with his Italian counterpart and try and find a way forwards in dealing with the ongoing crisis on Lampedusa, and while stating that France would not be accepting any of the recent arrivals.
In an interview with Europe 1, Darmanin said that France was “not preparing to welcome” any of the migrants currently installed on Lampedusa.
Meanwhile, in the French Riviera, rumours have been circulated in the media of a temporary migrant camp that may be erected to help with the processing of these thousands of migrants.
The Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has branded this information as “fake news”, and released a statement saying, “The #Prefect06 categorically denies any project to build a migrant camp in Menton.”
It has been confirmed, however, that local police will be given “increased capabilities” to deal with the larger-than-usual numbers of illegal migrants crossing the border from Italy into the French Riviera.
According to France 3 Côte d’Azur, the number of border personnel in the region will rise by 200. Soldiers numbering 120 may also be drafted in.
Around 1,500 migrants are reported to have been stopped last week, up from the usual 100 per day.
Following a decision to requisition a hotel near the Italian border to house an elevated number of unaccompanied minors earlier this month, there has also been talk of identifying similar properties in the Menton area to help process adult migrants who have crossed the border into France. No official statement has been made as yet on this matter.
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Photo source: Red Charlie, Unsplash