Despite the agreement between Tunisia and Italy to keep the refugees at home, despite the plans for joint French-Italian patrols in the Mediterranean, the boatloads of cultural enrichment keep arriving in Italy.
Two of the most recent arrivals are interesting, because they landed directly on the Italian mainland, without transiting through Sicily, Lampedusa, or any of the other islands between Tunisia and Italy. The first article concerns a landing at Crotone, on the toe of the Italian boot:
Boat With 20 People Rescued at Crotone
(AGI) Crotone — Italian Police Forces report that a a 14 mt long- boat with possibly 20 immigrants has been seen at about 20 miles off the Ionian coasts of Crotone, the local harbour office has activated rescue procedures. The Squadra Mobile, Italian special police forces are also participating to catch and eventually arrest the boat capitan. The boat’s port of departure is still unknown.
The origin of the first boat was unknown, but the second — which landed on the east coast of the Italian heel — came from Albania. Judging by the cosmopolitan nature of the passenger list, with all those Asian nationalities, it seems unlikely that North African people-smugglers were involved:
Boat of 31 Migrants Lands in Apulia’s Otranto Overnight
(AGI) Lecce — Apulia’s Adriatic coastline was the scene of further migrant landings. Last night 31 men, seven of whom minors aged between 12 and 17, were spotted by Italian coast patrols off Otranto. The party of 31 has been identified as comprising Afghan, Iraqi, Iranian, Burmese and Bangladeshi nationals. The motorboat on which they were being ferried was spotted at 0300 hours today and is thought to have departed from Albania. The pilot is described as a Russian passport holder and is currently under arrest. The 31 have been granted shelter at the ‘Don Tonino Bello’ home in Otranto and have been visited by the Italian Red Cross. They are reported as being in good health.
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.