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The European Right is calling out Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for what they call a betrayal and U-turn on migration at this key moment that the southern Italian island of Lampedusa is being overwhelmed with well over 6,000 migrants, the bulk of which flooded the tiny outpost on a single day last week.

For example, Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen, who leads the National Rally’s parliamentary faction, have blasted Meloni for her handling of the crisis, or rather for being missing in action at this pivotal moment.

Via AP: Italian Vice Premier Matteo Salvini, head of the populist, right-wing League stands on stage with French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen in Pontida, northern Italy, Sunday, September 17, 2023

“(There is) trouble, trouble for those leaders who don’t realize there are signs of alarm and danger from the massive arrival of migrants on Lampedusa,” Le Pen said at a rally this week. “An island of 6,000 people, where more than 6,000 migrants arrived in a single day — trouble for the population in which the leaders don’t take action immediately to face this giant challenge.”

The AP called it a direct “swipe” at Meloni, even though she wasn’t mentioned by name. Le Pen went so far as to say these same leaders “justify their cowardice by claiming there is no alternative.”

She added that European parties must defend “our people, as Matteo (Salvini) did so brilliantly with courage and pugnacity when he had the power to do so (…) by dramatically reducing the number of migrants.”

Some officials in Italy and across Europe have questioned why Meloni hasn’t gone to the overwhelmed tiny island of Lampedusa in person, or else why she’s not taking a more direct and active role in solving the crisis while enacting more aggressive preventative measures.

Instead, Europe is debating the 10-point plan offered by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, but so far it doesn’t look like it will get off the ground

Poland rejects EU’s proposals to transfer migrants from the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa across member states, a minister said on Wednesday.

“Nobody can force us to do this. We will act in such a way as not to accept immigrants. The EU is preparing to introduce such coercion. That is why we are holding a referendum so that Poles can have their say,” Maciej Wasik, a deputy interior minister, told Polish Radio.

The public vote on migration and three other issues, and parliamentary elections in Poland are scheduled for Oct. 15.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s 10-point plan for Lampedusa includes, among other pledges, supporting the transfer of migrants to other EU member states, and returning them to their countries of origin.

Polish officials when asked how many migrants from Lampedusa Poland is ready to accept have replied: “None.”

Meanwhile, there are persistent stories and reports of more boats having arrived…

And already the island’s very limited holding facilities for migrants, with merely some 400 beds, have long been overwhelmed. Simple food, housing, and logistical infrastructure is in extremely short supply – and footage of migrants roaming the streets or packed along roadside facilities continues to emerge.


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