France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has refused to accept migrants who have arrived on the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. “France will not accept migrants from Lampedusa,” Darmanin said on Tuesday evening on the TF1 channel. France wants a position of strictness. There is irregular migration in France and Italy, as well as throughout Europe, which must be combated, Darmanin continued.
“And it is not the case that by accepting more people we can dry up the flow that affects our integration capacity.” According to Darmanin, France has offered to help Italy repatriate people to countries with which Paris has good diplomatic relations. The interior minister said 60 percent of the people who arrived in Lampedusa were French-speaking.
Last week several thousand boat migrants reached Lampedusa. More than 5,000 people arrived on the island between Sicily and North Africa on Tuesday last week alone – more than ever before on a single day. The initial reception center was extremely overcrowded at times. To relieve the pressure on the camp, thousands of people were taken on ferries and police ships to Sicily or directly to the Italian mainland.
Meanwhile, the Tunisian coast guard says it intercepted more than 2,500 migrants and arrested dozens of people smugglers in the past few days. The National Guard also said Tuesday that dozens of boats had also been seized. Furthermore, around 1,900 African migrants from sub-Saharan countries were prevented from entering Tunisia via the land border.
There was a large-scale raid in the coastal region near Sfax at the weekend. According to the information, hundreds of security forces with the support of anti-terror units, aircraft and police dogs were deployed.
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