Rome: More than 8,000 migrants have crossed into the Italian island of Lampedusa, forcing Italy to push for a European Union naval blockade to prevent boats from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach the Italian shores. European Commission head, Ursula von der Leyen, is due to visit the island on Sunday after Italy asked for EU help. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said the country was being placed under unsustainable pressure as a result of the migrant influx.
Ms Meloni said she called on the EU head asking her to realize the gravity of the situation and to immediately accelerate the implementation of the agreement with Tunisia. The agreement, which was signed in July consists of $118 million in investment funds to stop smuggling, strengthen borders and return migrants.