Lampedusa protests Le Pen visit

Published on 15 March 2011 at 12:25

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A few days before French local elections, Marine Le Pen is making a campaign stop in Lampedusa, the Italian island off Tunisia where most migrants from North Africa are arriving by boat. Accompanied by the Northern League MEP Mario Borghezio, the leader of France’s National Front visited a detention centre holding thousands of illegal immigrants. This moved her to declare that “Europe does not have the capacity to absorb,” reports La Repubblica. The inhabitants of the island, however, did not appreciate the visit of the two xenophobic politicians and staged a demonstration proclaiming “Lampedusa is not racist.” In addition, the Roman daily writes, 1,600 people have landed on the island since the start of the week, while the Italian Navy has sent a patrol boat to prevent a ship with 1,800 Moroccans that set sail from Libya from entering Italy’s territorial waters. There is no word of another boat with 40 aboard, feared to have drowned.

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