Published: Fri, June 30, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Migrant crisis: Italy threatens to close ports

Migrant crisis: Italy threatens to close ports

Italy has seen some 12,000 migrants come ashore over just a few days, prompting its ambassador to the bloc, Maurizio Massari, to describe the situation as "unmanageable", according to La Repubblica daily.

Italy could stop foreign ships from docking in its ports in a bid to force the European Commission to do something about the large numbers of migrants arriving on its shores, press agency ANSA reported Wednesday.

EU's Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos wrote on Twitter that the other European Union states "must deliver" help to Italy based on the large amount of migrants coming through the country.

The Italian government is considering blocking boats carrying migrants from landing at its ports after almost 11,000 refugees arrived on its shores in five days.

Nearly 9,000 people were rescued between Saturday and Monday, with a further 2,000 plucked on Tuesday from vessels run by human traffickers along the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy, according to local media.

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There has been a dramatic rise, partly thanks to good weather, in the number of migrants attempting the short but perilous Mediterranean crossing. Other countries, such as Poland, have refused to host asylum seekers and lighten Italy's load. At the current rate, and with months of good sailing weather ahead, the number of migrants is on track to exceed the 200,000 who landed in Italy in 2016.

Avramopoulos said, "Italy is right that the situation is untenable", adding that the country's management of the crisis was "exemplary".

Also among Wednesday's arrivals was a Spanish Navy ship bringing over 900 migrants to the Italian island of Sardinia, including 126 women - six of them pregnant - and about 50 youngsters, some of them without accompanying adults.

"But what we're also saying is that any change in policy should first be discussed with other member states, and also properly communicated to the NGOs who are running these boats so that they have time to prepare".

Italy complained for years to be delivered to it-even in the face of the migration crisis and the arrivals growing by migrants from Libya, and called for greater solidarity from its european partners. Several U.N. employees were held for a while, then released.

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