Chaos at two ma­jor trans­port hubs deep­ens on­go­ing Italy mi­grant cri­sis


Italy’s im­mi­gra­tion cri­sis in­ten­si­fied Fri­day af­ter a build-up of asy­lum-seek­ers at two ma­jor train sta­tions re­sulted in clashes with po­lice, an out­cry from the right and fresh calls from Rome for EU help.

Mi­lan Cen­tral and Rome’s Tiburtina sta­tion were left look­ing like refugee camps at times this week as hun­dreds of mi­grants head­ing to north­ern Europe saw their progress de­layed or halted by a tem­po­rary rein­tro­duc­tion of bor­der con­trols due to Mon­day’s sum­mit of G-7 lead­ers in Ger­many.

In Mi­lan, more than 100 mostly women and chil­dren were moved from the sta­tion overnight to re­cep­tion cen­ters and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were of­fer­ing health checks to dozens of mi­grants still there on Fri­day amid con­cerns over the preva­lence of sca­bies.

In Rome, mi­grants were re­assem­bling near the site of a makeshift camp that had been forcibly cleared by po­lice on Thurs­day.

The move fol­lowed protests from lo­cal busi­nesses that the dis­trict was be­ing turned into a no-go area be­cause of se­cu­rity and san­i­ta­tion is­sues linked to the pres­ence of the mainly African refugees.

Gior­gio Ci­conali, a doc­tor work­ing at Mi­lan Cen­tral, told AFP: “There is a lot of sca­bies and it is be­ing spread by them sleep­ing rough to­gether, but there is noth­ing to worry about for peo­ple pass­ing through the sta­tion.”

John, an 18-year-old Eritrean stu­dent, had been in the sta­tion for three days, and is hop­ing to get to Nor­way, via Switzer­land and Ger­many. “But now it is very dif­fi­cult to cross the bor­der,” he said.

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