Italy braces for migrant surge after Tunisia coup

ROME – As many as 15,000 immigrants are poised to cross the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Italy in response to the mushrooming political instability in the north African nation, according to Maghreb press reports.

 Some 1400 clandestine migrants landed at the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa in less than 48 hours last week, raising concerns that a big new influx of unvaccinated Tunisians could pose a risk of Covid infection in southern Italy, coast guard sources said. Some of the new arrivals came from Libya as well as from Tunisia, taking advantage of good weather conditions to make the crossing in small fragile vessels.

 Many illegals leaving from Tunisia are originally from Bangladesh which has a large diaspora in Italy,

  Secondo le fonti di stampa interne alla Tunisia, sarebbero quasi 15.000 le persone pronte ad attraversare il Mediterraneo, lasciare l’Africa e arrivare in Italia.

 SInce July 20 some 2,500 new migrants have arrived in Italy in little over a week, official sources say.

 The Italian interior ministry is concerned that the structure of reception centres may not be able to cope with a large influx, given that the centres were depleted during the restrictive policies introduced when the League leader Matteo Salvini was interior minister.

In Lampedusa volunteers for the evangelical NGO Mediterranean Hope said that in addition to Tunisians many of the clandestine migrants arriving on the island were from Subsaharan Africa.

 “From Tunisia today many migrants arrive in Lampedusa from various different African countries, especially women from the Ivory Coast and Guinea Conakry,” said one worker for the NGO, Francesco Piobbichi, “it is clear that the flows of migrants are changing but cannot be stopped.”