In a video message posted on social media, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni referred to the arrivals of migrants and refugees recorded in southern Italy, underlining that “the pressure of migration is unbearable”.

“These are consequences of a very difficult international situation, in which we encounter pre-existing problems of African countries and a growing instability, especially in the Sahel region,” Meloni added.

He also emphasized that phenomena such as jihadism, the war of wheat, coups and natural disasters, may push tens of millions of people to want to leave their homeland, to seek a better future in Europe, but it is clear that Europe it cannot accommodate this huge number.”

The head of the Italian government stated that “the arrivals of migrants can be stopped by activating a European mission – naval if necessary – in agreement with the countries of North Africa, to stop the departures of the seafarers”. He expressed the opinion that “Europe should accept only those who actually have the right to be granted asylum, based on international conventions” and requested that “serious investments be made for development in Africa”.

The Italian prime minister also announced that she invited the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to visit Lampedusa with her “to better understand the seriousness of the situation facing Italy and to speed up the implementation of the agreement with Tunisia, and regarding the financial support of the country”. At the same time, he underlined that he asked the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, to include immigration in the agenda of the next European summit.

In her six-minute video message, Meloni also referred to “emergency measures that the Italian government intends to adopt immediately, to reduce the number of arrivals recorded in recent days.” In particular, he said that at next Monday’s cabinet “it is going to be decided to increase the limit of temporary detention in repatriation centers” of those immigrants who enter Italy illegally. This time limit will reach eighteen months, while for asylum seekers it will remain at twelve months.

“We are also strengthening the centers for repatriation, so that anyone who enters Italy illegally can, indeed, be detained in these structures until the asylum request is examined or until their deportation, in case they are irregular immigrants,” said the head of the Italian government alliance. He also underlined that new structures of this kind will be created by the Italian Ministry of Defense.

“I want to send a clear message to anyone who wants to enter Italy illegally: it is not good to trust human traffickers. Because they ask you for a lot of money, they put you on boats that are not equipped for these trips, and anyway, if you enter Italy illegally, there will be a temporary detention and repatriation,” concluded Giorgia Meloni.