The home affairs ministers of Germany, Sweden and Belgium have expressed scepticism over Italy’s warning that it is at risk of being invaded by migrants from sub-Saharan Africa fording the Mediterranean from Libya.
The head of a processing camp on the Italian island of Lampedusa, Cono Galipò, said: “If tomorrow an exorbitant number of migrants land, we will adapt. We’ll try to organise, as we are doing now, but it will be day by day, according to needs.”
Italian Interior Minister Roberto Moroni and those of the other 26 EU member states have been discussing strategy and coordination at a meeting in Brussels.
Moroni said: “Invasion by up to a million and a half, which is the estimate from the EU’s border control agency Frontex, would bring any country to its knees. That’s why we are asking for solidarity from all the EU countries, both for control and shelter.”
Moroni’s Belgian colleague had said: “We shouldn’t scare ourselves with crazy figures.”
Germany’s minister cautioned against provoking an influx by talking about it. His Swedish counterpart said the feared surge of refugees had not yet appeared, and hoped Libya would not get into a civil war.