Meloni Calls for EU Help to Curb Migration Flows to Italy

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(Bloomberg) — Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called for urgent help from the European Union to help curb the flow of migrants as her government prepares to announce new measures as soon as Monday.

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Meloni invited European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to visit Italy’s Lampedusa to witness a human emergency unfolding as thousands of migrants in boats continue to arrive on the tiny island between Tunisia and Sicily.

Von der Leyen plans to visit Lampedusa on Sunday, her spokesman said.

The premier also urged European Council President Charles Michel to include immigration on the agenda of the EU council in October, she said on social media, and called for an EU mission to stop the illegal departures of migrants headed for Europe.

“The Italian government intends to adopt extraordinary measures to deal with the number of arrivals we have seen on our shores,” Meloni said, adding the plan will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday. It includes extending the time limit to hold illegal migrants and building new reception structures to host them.

Italy wants to limit migration flows from North Africa by boosting cooperation among authorities aimed at restricting departures. In July, Meloni organized an international conference on development and migration in Rome after earlier that month Tunisia and the EU signed an agreement aimed at building cooperation on migration policy.

The mayor of Lampedusa said Thursday that 7,000 people had arrived in the previous 48 hours alone, CNN reported, and that a “point of no return” had been reached.

–With assistance from Chiara Albanese and Zoe Schneeweiss.

(Updates with planned von der Leyen visit to Lampedusa in third paragraph.)

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