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Italy Declares National Emergency As Migrants Pour Off Boats, Flood Shelters

The Italian government declared a six-month nationwide state of emergency Tuesday as thousands of migrants flooded the country’s southern coast, resulting in overflowing shelters, according to a cabinet meeting statement.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her cabinet met Tuesday at Palazzo Chigi in Rome to discuss the substantial increase in the migration flow towards Italy, “which is causing situations of very serious overcrowding in the first reception centers,” according to a cabinet meeting statement.

“From these data follows the need to urgently provide for the implementation of extraordinary measures to decongest the Lampedusa hotspot and to create new structures, suitable both for the reception needs and for the recognition and repatriation of migrants who do not have the requisites for stay on the national territory,” reads the statement.

Meloni and her Cabinet approved funding of nearly $5.5 million allocated to the funds for national emergencies, according to a cabinet meeting statement.

Recently Italy saw a significant increase of refugees reaching the southern shores from the north of Africa, welcoming over 3,000 migrants in the last three days alone, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. The Italian government rented several empty commercial ferries to welcome refugees who are fleeing persecution and conflict in Africa, according to The Associated Press.

Civil Protection and Sea Policies Minister Nello Musumeci stressed that immigration had increased by 300%, ANSA reported.

“Let it be clear, it won’t solve the problem, whose solution is linked solely to an aware and responsible intervention by the European Union,” Musumeci concluded.

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