Overcrowded and littered: Italy clears refugee camp in Lampedusa

In a refugee camp on Lampedusa, which offers space for 350 people, there are around five times as many.

Overcrowded and littered: Italy clears refugee camp in Lampedusa

In a refugee camp on Lampedusa, which offers space for 350 people, there are around five times as many. Refugees are lying outside, rubbish is piling up in the aisles. Observers are appalled. The Italian government now decides to evacuate.

Reports about an extremely overcrowded and littered refugee camp in Lampedusa have once again fueled the debate in Italy about how to deal with migrants from the Mediterranean. According to reports, after a good 1,800 people were counted in the facility, which was only intended for around 350 migrants, on Friday, the Ministry of the Interior sent a naval ship to take 600 people away from the island.

On Sunday, more migrants should be distributed from the hotspot to other camps in southern Italy. According to the ministry, vulnerable people have priority in the evacuation. According to the Ansa news agency, Mayor Filippo Mannino said that the detention center should be completely evacuated by Monday.

On Friday, the ex-mayor of Lampedusa, Giusi Nicolini, published current photos and a video of the camp on Facebook. You can see people lying on old foam mattresses, some in the open air, overflowing rubbish bins and mountains of rubbish in the aisles. Among the people are pregnant women and children. "The pictures could be from Libya. But no, that's Italy," wrote the politician. Flavio Di Giacomo from the Mediterranean Office of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) wrote on Twitter of a "shame on Lampedusa".

Right-wing politicians such as Lega boss Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni from the Fratelli d'Italia accuse the left and the non-party Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese of failure. The Ministry of the Interior in Rome registered more than 30,000 people arriving by boat this year on Italian coasts - including Lampedusa - by the weekend. People dare to make the often dangerous crossing from North Africa because they hope for a better life in the EU. Many are taken in by civilian rescue ships, and fatal accidents often occur.

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