The Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Massimiliano Fedriga during a town council meeting | Photo: ANSA/Giovanni Montenero
The Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Massimiliano Fedriga during a town council meeting | Photo: ANSA/Giovanni Montenero

The governor of the northeastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, has said that an estimated 1,000 migrants have been entering the region each month since May and that the situation has become "unmanageable."

"The situation concerning the arrival of migrants, who have been coming at a pace of nearly 1,000 a month since May"  to a region with a "population of 1.2 million has become unmanageable," said the governor of the northeastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, sounding an alarm. 

According to the governor, a reported 1,000 migrants have been arriving in Friuli Venezia Giulia each month since May, when lockdown measures due to the coronavirus epidemic were lifted, making the situation in the northeastern region "unmanageable'," Governor Massimiliano Fedriga told the parliamentary committee for the control of the implementation of the Schengen agreement on August 5, sounding the alarm on the Balkan front of migration flows.

"As of today, Friuli Venezia Giulia has been among the regions with the best performances against coronavirus and today nearly all cases come from abroad or are foreign people," Fedriga said.  "We are not even able to manage the 50 irregular (migrants) who arrived today [Wednesday, August 5], there are no available facilities where they can be quarantined, we can't host more migrants," the governor continued.

He stressed the need to close border crossings, given the good relations with the "new government of Slovenia, a democratic country where all rights are respected."

Skepticism on boosting army's presence

The governor expressed skepticism about the hypothesis of deploying the army along the border, claiming that in order to monitor the border more effectively, "between 600 and 700" officers would be necessary, "in addition to various connected services."

Fedriga also expressed concern about new coronavirus cases: "In proportion to the population, the number of cases in Serbia is ten times higher than in Italy; in Bosnia, the number is 20 times" higher compared to Italy. He asked to "stop the entry of irregular migrants. We are not considering the idea of new hosting centers in Friuli Venezia Giulia, we would not be able to manage them," added Fedriga. "The healthcare system should guarantee health security and it is already under too much strain due to COVID-19. It is not possible, as far as we are concerned, to make plans to expand the hosting system for migrants who arrive irregularly. Our border can and must be controlled."

Fedriga, a member of the anti-migrant right-wing League party (Lega), has repeatedly called for increased border patrols and anti-migration measures. The parliamentary committee for the implementation of the Schengen agreement has announced that it will visit Friuli Venezia Giulia to verify the situation on the ground. "It is crucial to carry out a mission, to visit Friuli Venezia Giulia, we will discuss the issue with the office of the presidency," said the president of the committee Eugenio Zoffili, also a member of the League party.
 

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