LONDON:Migrants in Italy have clashed with authorities after demanding that they be transferred from landing sites to housing across the country, Euractiv reported.
Hundreds of new migrants on the island of Lampedusa protested their living conditions at the Favaloro pier, with local police carrying out a “lightning raid” to deter violence.
Italy has faced a surge in migration from the Mediterranean, with barges and fishing vessels crossing from North Africa weekly.
Lampedusa, south of Sicily and Malta, has proved a popular arrival point owing to its location as the first entry into Europe from the Mediterranean.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said: “The issue of relocation (in other EU countries) is secondary. Very few people have been relocated in recent months.
“The question is not how to unload the problem; it’s how to stop the arrivals in Italy, and I still don’t see any concrete answers.”
Italy’s landing sites are operating at maximum capacity, with reception centers overstretched.
Almost 7,000 migrants, including 257 minors, have landed on Lampedusa in recent days.
Italian authorities are carrying out emergency migrant transfers off the island to relieve pressure on landing sites and reception centers.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said: “The solutions cannot be found at the national level, but only at the European level. I think there is no other option but to conclude the migration pact.
“The citizens of all EU countries have asked us to find solutions.
“Ten years after the Lampedusa tragedy, we still have not done enough.”