Italians are in growing revolt against the number of migrants arriving on their shores, with more than 10,000 people rescued from the Mediterranean in the past week alone.
The huge influx of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa is putting an intolerable strain on a country that has been in recession for the past five years.
Conservative politicians called this week for boatloads of refugees to be sent back to Libya, while the system of migrant reception centres is on the verge of collapse.
The government in Rome has asked regional authorities to provide 6,500 new beds for migrants who are arriving on a daily basis in Sicily and the tiny island of Lampedusa.
But many regions responded grudgingly – some with downright hostility – saying they had no space to offer.
Val d’Aosta, a small, mountainous region on the French border, offered to take just one refugee.
There was also a frosty reception from the wealthy northern region of Lombardy…
Related: EU faces fury of rights groups after new migrant shipwreck tragedy (AFP) – Rights groups lashed out at the EU on Wednesday for scrapping rescue operations in the Mediterranean, saying it had endangered the lives of thousands of desperate migrants making perilous journeys across the sea.
The criticism came as Italian coastguards said no more survivors had been found from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya on Sunday which may have killed 400 people…