Italian backlash as migrant arrivals climb

The imminent arrival of an extra 4,000 people at southern ports sent the migration crisis back to the top of the political agenda as three big northern regions warned they will refuse to house any more of the people who made the journey.

Lombardy president Roberto Maroni said he would be writing to local mayors and prefects in his region on Monday to warn them not to accept any more “illegal immigrants” allocated by the government upon pain of having regional funding cut.

Giovanni Maroni, the newly elected president of Liguria, backed that stance.

“I have already said it: we will not receive any more migrants, and Lombardy, Veneto and Val d’Aosta will do the same thing.”

Luca Zaia, the right-wing president of Veneto, said the region that includes Venice was: “Like a bomb ready to go off. The social tensions are absolutely crazy”…

Related: More than 2,000 migrants rescued in Mediterranean, operations ongoing