Migrants shut down traffic in Milan to protest living conditions
Hundreds of migrants clashed with police in the Italian city of Milan after blocking a major road in protest of poor living conditions at a Red Cross refugee center and their inability to get work permits.
About 300 protesters made their way along an avenue connecting Milan to Sesto San Giovanni and briefly blocked traffic, while holding up pieces of cardboard saying “We’re tired, we want our documents” and chanting “documents, documents.”
The migrants, mostly from Africa, are forced to live in tents housing up to eight people at a refugee center that remains flooded after last week’s heavy rain, the local newspaper Corriere della Sera reported.
Riot police arrived at the site to deal with the impromptu demonstration.
This year alone, more than 100,000 migrants and asylum seekers have reached Italy by sea, according to data from Italy’s Interior Ministry.
The unprecedented influx of migrants has resulted in increased tensions between the political parties in Italy, with some saying it’s time to assume a tough stance on the matter.
“Protests? Go home immediately!” the leader of the rightist Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, wrote on his Facebook page.
Italy’s Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said on Sunday that the deepening migrant crisis is threatening to rip the “soul” out of the European Union, the Italian edition of the Local reports.
“On immigration, Europe is in danger of displaying the worst of itself: selfishness, haphazard decision-making and rows between member states,” Gentiloni added.
It is time for the entire EU to stop sitting on its hands and take strong measures, in Gentiloni’s opinion.