Simply earlier than the arrival of the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, we made a rapid inspection of the island of Lampedusa.
What we discovered, as we considered the central pier on the port and the reception centre inland, was one thing of an alternate universe.
On Saturday, tons of of migrants had queued on the dock as their boats and creaky vessels arrived in port.
On Sunday, we discovered nobody.
On the reception centre, identified regionally because the “hotspot”, we discovered native employees sweeping the grounds and choosing up litter.
Considerably, the variety of migrants housed inside the centre has been vastly diminished.
After days of chaos, the island had been sanitised to a sure extent.
This was comprehensible on grounds of safety.
The reception centre has a proper capability of 400, however there have been upwards of three,000 within the place on Saturday.
At one stage, migrants fought their manner out as they complained of starvation, overcrowding and non-existent hygiene provisions.
However after they informed a information convention they wanted to journey to Lampedusa to higher perceive the problems, we questioned if they’d get the complete story.
The fee president stated: “It is essential for me to be right here along with you.
“The local people has continued to do its utmost to help the women and men and kids who’ve made it to the island.”
This speedy reimposition of management made for a startling distinction and suggests the Italian authorities do have the capability to quickly home and course of 1000’s of migrants on Lampedusa and different coastal communities.
What’s in dispute right here is duty and price.
Ms Meloni was clear in her remarks that Italy shouldn’t bear the complete weight of migration and asylum within the EU.
“If we do not work severely all collectively to combat the unlawful departures, the numbers of this phenomenon won’t solely overwhelm the border international locations however the entire others,” she stated.
The Italian chief might have softened her stance towards the EU since coming to energy, however she remains to be advocating for an “environment friendly” naval blockade of the North African coast.
Moreover, she desires the EU to forge agreements with international locations of origin that permit for the speedy repatriation of migrants.
What she obtained from Ms von der Leyen was a 10-point EU motion plan that appeared gentle on particular particulars.
Very like British politicians, the fee president did speak in regards to the “ruthless” and “brutal” smugglers and prison gangs that she blamed for transporting folks to Lampedusa.
However the smugglers and gangs are a simple goal.
European leaders (together with British ones) know the gangs are servicing a near-limitless demand for security, safety and higher life outcomes for a lot of in Africa and the Center East.
Doing one thing about it will take a far longer and extra complete motion plan.