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Italian Parliament declares national state of emergency over illegal immigration. News Team

The Italian government announce the allocation of funds for ten new “Identification and Expulsion Centers.” Last April a coalition led by S. Berlusconi made sweeping gains and took control of the Italian parliament by promising to crack down on illegal aliens.


Rome, July 25 – The cabinet on Friday declared a national state of emergency regarding ”the persistent and exceptional influx” of illegal immigrants into Italy in a bid to ”contain and manage” the phenomenon.

Government immigration department head Mario Morcone stressed the step was an extension of local states of emergency declared in February by the last government for Puglia, Sicily and Calabria – the southern regions through which most non-EU immigrants enter the country.

”The exceptional influx of would-be immigrants and asylum-seekers, above all from Somalia and Eritrea, has made it necessary to send people who land on the (Sicilian island of) Lampedusa and the southern coast to other holding centres elsewhere in Italy,” Morcone explained.

The nationwide extension of the state of emergency will facilitate regions’ access to funds to construct and manage new immigration holding centres, he said.

The government has already pledged in its security package to build ten more holding centres, to be renamed ‘Identification and Expulsion Centres’, where migrants and asylum seekers can be held for up to 18 months while their cases are assessed.

Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa stressed that the state of emergency would not involve the deployment of troops or any new measures, but was ”only of bureaucratic character”.