Italy: Pressure on Meloni grows as interior ministry announces 100,000 migrant arrivals this year

Rome: Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni came to power in October last year promising a firmer grasp on immigration. But her efforts have not slowed the arrivals.

More than 100,000 migrants have landed on Italian shores so far this year, according to official data updated by the Ministry of the Interior.

The data shows that between 1 January 2023 and 16 August, 101,386 migrants reached Italian shores.

That’s more than double the number recorded in the same period in 2022, and almost triple that of 2021, when 34,556 landings were recorded.

Among those who landed in Italy this year from North Africa, the largest percentage came from Guinea and the Ivory Coast, followed by Egypt and Tunisia.

10,286 were unaccompanied minors, a lower figure than the 14,044 last year. The government of Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is now facing increasing internal scrutiny.

She came to power in October last year promising a firmer grasp on immigration, but conditions at sea this summer appear to have accelerated migrant crossings, and heaped up pressure on the Prime Minister.

She has enlisted the European Union’s help to forge a deal with Tunisia in a bid to stop the migrant boats in exchange for economic and other types of aid.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 2,175 people have lost their lives trying to reach Europe by sea this year