Italy says 800,000 migrants poised to arrive

(ANSAmed) – ROME, APRIL 29 – At least 800,000 migrants are about to depart the North African coast for Europe, while the reception system in Italy – the first landing point for the vast majority of these – is already on the brink of collapse from tens of thousands of earlier arrivals, official said Tuesday.

“We no longer have a place to take them, and locals are overwhelmed by the constant arrival of foreigners,” Giovanni Pinto, head of the Immigration and Border Police agency, told a joint meeting of the foreign and defence committees in the Italian Senate.

As many as 25,000 migrants have landed on Italian shores to date this year, almost a ten-fold increase over the 2,500 reported during the same period in 2013 and nearing 2011’s record levels of 62,000 migrants, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said earlier this month.

That has stretched already-strained resources in Italy, which only emerged from its deepest recession since the Second World War late last year, to the breaking point, particularly as it comes after record-breaking levels of migration in 2013. Italy is appealing for international help in the face of the waves of newcomers fleeing their homelands in numbers that tend to increase in spring and summer months as sea conditions improve…

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