Italy May See 100,000 Illegal Boat Migrant Arrivals In 2022 If Current Pace Continues

The Open Arms 1 arrives in Messina with 99 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, the mi
Gabriele Maricchiolo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With illegal boat migrant landings happening in numbers equal to previous crisis peaks this month, it is estimated that as many as 100,000 could enter Italy by the end of the year.

Italy’s Interior Ministry says that, as of Thursday, a total of 58,451 migrants have arrived so far this year, with the last week of August seeing an estimated 7,800 migrants arriving on small boats or being dropped off by “migrant taxi” NGO ships conducting operations at sea.

The new pace of arrivals has led forecasters to change their predictions for the end of the year from 77,000 arrivals to between 90,000 and 100,000.

In total, 15,733 migrants entered Italy illegally in the month of August, smashing the surge of 13,802 migrants seen in the month of July, which itself was noted as being higher than the entire year of 2019.

According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, hundreds of migrants have set off from the eastern Libyan coast — a territory under the control of General Khalifa Haftar, who is aligned with Russia.

Late last month, Italian intelligence officials suggested that Russia may try and influence the Italian election through their presence in Libya.

It is alleged they wish to help anti-mass migration populist Matteo Salvini, whose League party is part of a centre-right alliance tipped to win this month’s elections on September 25th.

“Libya is a cannon directed against Italy. Immigration is the most powerful weapon for those who want to influence the parliamentary elections in September in view of the Italian election campaign,” a source supposedly said.

According to Il Giornale, the surge in migration has also meant a surge in profits for people-smugglers, with a single ship of 57 migrants making over half a million euros for them.

They are said to charge the migrants, mainly from Iran and Iraq, as much as 10,000 euros for a voyage.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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