Huge increase in migrants arriving in Italy

(ANSAmed) – Rome, April 15 – In 2014, more than 20,500 migrants landed on the Italian coast, as compared to 2,500 during the same period of the previous year, Italy’s Minister of Interior, Angelino Alfano, told the Parliament’s Schengen Commission.

Alfano also stressed that “migratory pressure threatens to reach the record levels of 2011, when more than 62 thousand people entered.”

The minister also announced that in 2013 there were 27,000 asylum applications; in the first three months of 2014, they have already exceeded the 13,000 quota, with a 140% increase compared to last year. Rejections are less than one-third.

Alfano added that in order to cope with the high number of requests, he intends to set up a commission for the examination of asylum applications in each prefecture, thus moving from the current 20 to over 100.

Alfano then recalled that the abilities of operation Mare Nostrum, which began last October, have saved 19,000 migrants “and no one can say how many would have died without the mission, but it is hard to imagine that they would all be alive.” Alfano stressed that Mare Nostrum coast over €9 million per month and it is “essential a further involvement of Europe.”