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Italy’s migrant crisis fuels election campaign

Italy’s migrant crisis fuels election campaign
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Italy holds a general election this weekend. Key campaign issues have included the economy and jobs; however, the most heated debate has revolved around migration

In this edition of Insiders our reporter Claudio Lavanga travels across Italy speaking with voters, campaigners and activists about migration. Italy has borne the brunt of the migrant crisis, and — because of its proximity to the North African coast — has taken in the largest share of migrants compared to other European countries. The resultant humanitarian crisis has been used by some parties, particularly those right-of-centre, to blame the country’s tattered economy and alleged growing crime rate on migrants.

The leader of Italy’s nationalist Brothers of Italy party pointed out that migration is going in both directions and spoke of a brain-drain of Italian graduates as well as an influx of “illegal immigrants.” But our reporter also caught up with civil society activists that are trying to help migrants find a home in Italy. A group of guerrilla artists were keen to draw attention to the plight of migrants, who embark on risky journeys during which, as one migrant put it, you can die at any time. Meanwhile in Castel Volturno, near Naples, NGOs are helping migrants, mostly for Sub-Saharan Africa, get access to health services and their children better integrate.

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