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Italian Prime Minister Meloni admits she hoped to do ‘better’ in response to wave of illegal migrants

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni admitted on Saturday that she hoped to do “better” in controlling illegal immigration which now crosses the Mediterranean to land on Italian shores.

“It is clear that we hoped for better on immigration, where we have worked so hard,” she said in an interview marking the 12th anniversary of her taking office, broadcast Saturday evening on the TG1 channel, as reports AFP.

Migrants arrive at the port of the Italian island of Lampedusa, September 18, 2023. On September 18, 2023, Italy extended detention periods for illegal migrants to deter arrivals after record boat crossings from the North Africa to Lampedusa which saw the southernmost tip of the country submerged. (ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Migrants wait to be transferred in Cala Pisana on the island of Lampedusa, Italy, September 17, 2023. (Valeria Ferraro/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

“The results are not what we hoped for. This is certainly a very complex issue, but I am confident we will get to the bottom of it.”

Meloni spoke after criticizing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday for its hypocrisy on the issue of mass migration, accusing supporters of open borders of spreading “chaos”, enriching drug traffickers human beings and bring back the scourge of slavery to the world.

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party was elected largely on a promise to fight illegal immigration to Italy, with the leader promising last March to “declare war” on smugglers, as reported Breitbart News.

But the tide of humans arriving on boats from North Africa has instead increased, with more than 130,000 recorded by the Home Office so far this year, compared to 70,000 during the same period in 2022 .

After 8,500 people arrived on the small island of Lampedusa in just three days earlier this month, Meloni called on the European Union to do more to help relieve the pressure.

RELATED: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni pledges to ‘achieve the goals we set together’ after Berlusconi’s death

@GiorgiaMeloni / Twitter

Brussels agreed to step up existing efforts and announced this week it would start releasing money to Tunisia – where many boats depart from – as part of a pact to stem illegal immigration from the country.

Since coming to power in October, Meloni’s government has restricted the activities of charity rescue ships, which it accuses of encouraging migrants, while pledging to crack down on smugglers.

He has also sought to boost the repatriation of arrivals ineligible for asylum, including by building new detention centers and extending the length of time migrants can be held there.

It emerged this week that he would also require migrants awaiting an asylum decision to pay a 5,000 euro deposit or risk being sent to a detention center, sparking accusations which the state charged “protection money”.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or by email to: skent@breitbart.com


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