The culture-enrichers keep pouring into Lampedusa. Depending on which news story you read, 500, 800, 831, or 1,400 new arrivals landed on the island overnight.
First, two boats with 500 people:
500 Refugees From Libya Make Landfall in Lampedusa
(AGI) Palermo — Two boats that sailed from Libya with 500 refugees made landfall on the island of Lampedusa this evening.
The boats were sighted this afternoon by an aircraft of the Coast Guard. The disembarkment operations were concluded slightly before 10 pm this evening at the Favaloro dock, where a total of 500 migrants came on shore, including approximately thirty women and children, all of who originated from Sub-Saharan Countries.
Next, a total of five boats with 800:
More Than 800 Arrived Last Night in Lampedusa
(ANSAmed) — Lampedusa (agrigento), May 6 — Immigrants are arriving on Lampedusa in high numbers again: more than 800 in a single day. Another boat, the fifth in a few hours time, arrived last night just before midnight after it was intercepted by a patrol boat of the Italian Finance Police, 19 miles west of the island. The barge had 60 non-EU citizens on board, including one woman, almost certainly departed from Tunisia.
Seven more immigrants were detained last night by the police in Linosa, the smallest of the Pelagie islands, immediately after they landed. Most migrants who arrived yesterday in Lampedusa, and have been taken to the first reception centre, are refugees from countries in the sub-Saharan area, who had departed from Libya.
The number was later revised to 831:
Lampedusa Witnesses Arrival of 831 Migrants in 12 Hours
(AGI) Palermo — Last night, Lampedusa witnessed the arrival of a 5th migrant boat in just over 12 hours. Last night’s’ landings raised the arrivals total to 831. A bout of bad weather had put a temporary halt to migrant flows from Libya, now in full swing. Docking at Favaloro quay, of yesterday’s 5 landings, two boats alone accounted for some 500 migrants; two other boats accounted for 216 Libyans and 50 Tunisians. Nine other Tunisians are reported to have landed on the island of Linosa.
Steen sent an Italian TV news report about Lampedusa. I’m hoping for a translation later, maybe tomorrow, but the title of the clip refers to a total of 1,400 migrants.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider these numbers. We’ll use the median published figure of 800 migrants during the previous 24-hour period. The MSM reports (see below) are stuck on 25,000 as the total number of refugees that have arrived in Italy since January. However, three weeks ago the Italian government put the figure at 27,000, and I have seen more than 3,000 additional immigrants reported since then. So the correct number is at least 30,000, which is what I have been using for a while.
By agreement with Tunisia, Italy is allowed to repatriate up to sixty migrants a day. The most recent reports indicate that the Italians are not heaving out the Tunisians as fast as that; the average has been about thirty repatriations per day since they began in early April.
About five hundred Tunisians have managed to sneak across the border into France, and various other European countries have willingly accepted small groups of the North African migrants — the reported numbers seem to indicate that about six hundred have been shipped out so far.
So we start with 30,000, subtract 1,000 repatriations, and 1,100 relocations (official or otherwise), leaving roughly 28,000 recently arrived culture-enrichers in Italy.
And Italy just acquired 800 more over a single 24-hour period.
Let’s assume that those 800 arrive only sporadically, maybe once every four days. That would mean that an average of 200 refugees are being added every day. While that’s going on, an average of thirty per day are repatriated, and three per day are being sent to other European countries.
Which means Italy is gaining 167 culture enrichers per day, or roughly 5,000 per month.
Obviously, the current situation cannot continue indefinitely.
In other “Camp of the Saints” news, Italy is now conferring with Malta over their common plight:
Frattini Speaks of Common Interest With Malta Over Migrants
(AGI) Palermo — Franco Frattini said that Italy and Malta have a common interest in the EU taking strong action over immigration. The foreign minister was speaking to journalists in Palermo. Following last Monday’s formal protest to Malta over a boat with 416 migrants on board that the Maltese didn’t assist after it sent an SOS when in Maltese waters, he assured, “It is an interest on which we will never be divided.”
Meanwhile, the head of the European Commission concedes that there may have to be some adjustments made to the Schengen Agreement:
Barroso Wants Schengen Rules Assessed Case by Case
(AGI) Palermo — At a press conference that followed the final day of the PPE study conference in Palermo, the president of the European Commission, Jose’ Barroso, has said “We will not abolish the Schengen Treaty” but apply the rules on a case by case basis as happened recently between Italy and France.
Barroso said he would immediately return to Brussels and had no plans to visit Lampedusa.
SwissInfo has more details on the proposed Schengen changes. Some excerpts are below; the full text will be included in the news feed.
Notice the article uses the 25,000 figure, as do virtually all the major MSM outlets. This shows that the media — and presumably the bureaucrats in Brussels — are not being honest about the extent of the crisis in Italy:
EU Moots New Schengen Rules
The European Commission has put forward new proposals to ensure the “better management of migration” in the wake of an influx of immigrants from North Africa.
The Commission has been pressed by Italy and France, who say reform is needed to “restore the faith of citizens in free movement”.
The proposals, outlined on Wednesday, are being submitted to European Union interior ministers and to the three non-EU Schengen member states, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.
The 25-member Schengen area has scrapped systematic border controls between its members, allowing for passport free travel within the zone.
The Commission has now said the “temporary reintroduction” of limited border controls could sometimes be necessary “under very exceptional circumstances, such as where a part of the external border comes under heavy unexpected pressure”.
But the EU commissioner for home affairs, Cecilia Malmström, has stressed that any such measures must be temporary and geographically limited.
Switzerland, which has been a full member of the Schengen area since March 2009, will take part in the discussions of the new measures, but not have a vote.
The Swiss government will decide whether to apply any new rules on immigration and border controls.
Many of the proposals are in fact updates of previous ideas which had been somewhat coolly received in EU capitals. But the row between France and Italy over the arrival of 25,000 migrants from Tunisia in the Schengen area has led to a rethink in many countries.
For example, France is currently exercising strict border controls at Ventimiglia (on its border with Italy) because of the influx of North Africans via the Italian island of Lampedusa, many of whom have said they want to go to France.
Until now, the only situation in which border controls can be reintroduced is when there is a serious threat to public order.
Any requests for the reestablishment of controls are assessed by the Commission. So far – about a dozen cases – it has always agreed.
“The answer to migration flows should not be a reintroduction of border controls or a change in the Schengen rules,” wrote former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt on the website of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, which he chairs.
“What we need is transparency and accountability: The Commission and parliament should be involved in the evaluation of the concepts of ‘public order’ inside the Schengen area to prevent unilateral decisions of re-introducing border controls.”
Both France and the European Union say that they do not intend to put these measures into action, but that they are regarded as a “deterrent weapon to force states to respect their obligations”.
But this is no easy matter for those who have large maritime frontiers. Greece, for example, has a problem controlling its long sea border with Turkey. The Commission says it should be given more help, in particular by increasing the funding for Frontex, the EU agency for external border security.
Malmström is clear that there should be no going back on Schengen.
“The free movement of people across European borders is a major achievement which must not be reversed, but rather strengthened,” says a press release from the European Commission.
The proposals will be now be discussed by the Schengen interior ministers. A decision will be taken by EU leaders at the end of June.
That’s today’s news from the Camp of the Saints. I’m sure there will be more tomorrow — in fact, I already have in hand a translation from the German.
Hat tips: C. Cantoni and Insubria.