The EU Border Agency (Frontex) says the number of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy has doubled in the space of a month.
“The number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Central Mediterranean route in January rose to more than 4,800, double the figure from the previous month, when smuggling activities were affected by fighting near the departure areas and poor weather,” the agency reported.
“According to preliminary data, Eritreans were the largest group of migrants detected on this route, followed by nationals of Pakistan and Tunisia,” it added.
The Italian interior ministry has objected that the number of illegal migrants is down overall but appeared to concur on the last point, with ANSA reporting the number of Eritrean arrivals at 1,312, followed by Tunisians at 763, Pakistanis at 279, and Nigerians at 252.
Mediterranean Migrant Route Numbers Rapidly Increasing https://t.co/5GIsD2B2o1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 3, 2018
Mass migration has precipitated a rapid and unprecedented shift in Italy’s demographics in recent years, with a 2017 report noting the number of resident foreigners has exploded by 270 per cent since 2002.
Locals appear to be unhappy with the change, with the younger generation particularly ill at ease with the new Italy. A remarkable 65 per cent of under-35s said they had a negative view of immigration in a recent survey, and polling shows the Italian public’s faith in the supranational European Union, which does much to encourage open borders, is collapsing.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) January 20, 2018
After becoming the new front line for the migrant crisis, Italy stopped short of adopting the tough love policy on boat migrants of Australia, which brought seaborne people-smuggling (and drownings) to an end by insisting that illegal migrants would all be turned around or processed offshore and housed in safe countries nearer to home if found to be legitimate refugees.
It did manage to achieve a drop in arrivals by making deals with the Libyan coast guard to stop smuggler boats in Libyan waters, and by disrupting the activities of so-called ‘rescue’ ships helping transport migrants — but this strategy appears to be failing as the various militias and political factions in Libya wax and wane.
Consequently, Italy’s Europhile establishment look set to suffer huge losses to Eurosceptic populists in next month’s elections, with voters startled by a number of appaling migrant crimes turning to The League leader Matteo Salvini, who has pledged hundreds of thousands of deportations.