Rome

Push back migrants says Northern League chief

'Government, wake up,' Maroni tweets

Push back migrants says Northern League chief

Rome, August 20 - The only way to stem the throngs of migrants who brave the perilous crossing from North Africa to Italy every day is "pushing them back" while still at sea, Lombardy governor and Northern League leader Roberto Maroni said Tuesday. "Endless landings of illegal immigrants in Lampedusa. A remedy exists: push-backs and bilateral agreements to prevent them from leaving (Africa). Government wake up!!", Maroni wrote on Twitter. The anti-immigrant League was one of the main sponsors of a controversial 'push-back' policy under the last government of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi. Over 500 migrants, including women and children, were rescued off the coast of Sicily on Tuesday morning alone after one of their three boats fell apart at sea. EU border agency Frontex has sounded the alarm, noting that over 12,000 migrants landed in southern Italy in the first seven months of this year, 75% more than last year.

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