Italy predicts up to 680,000 migrants could cross the sea from Libya

Photo: Associated Press (Fair Use)

According to a lawmaker from Premier Giorgia Meloni’s far-right party, intelligence reports suggest that almost 700,000 migrants are present in Libya, waiting for an opportunity to embark on a sea journey towards Italy. However, a UN migration official has dismissed this figure, claiming it to be unreliable.

In an interview with Tgcom24, Tommaso Foti, who serves as the lower parliamentary house whip for the Brothers of Italy Party, stated that the Italian secret services have estimated around 685,000 migrants, including many in detention camps, are eager to embark on a sea journey across the central Mediterranean Sea on smugglers’ boats.

As per the Italian coast guard’s report on Sunday night, a commercial vessel attempting to rescue them overturned, causing 30 migrants to go missing, while 17 were rescued, about 100 nautical miles (180 kilometers) from Libya’s coastline, the Associated Press reported.

The coast guard emphasized that the capsizing occurred beyond Italy’s search-and-rescue jurisdiction, and stated that multiple merchant vessels were assisting in the search for the missing passengers of the overturned boat.

Meloni is optimistic that an upcoming meeting of the European Union later this month will result in tangible support from fellow EU leaders in handling the significant influx of migrants and asylum-seekers who arrive in countries situated along the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Spain, and Italy.

Written by staff