Finnish doctor Aino Pennanen helps migrants in the Mediterranean whose entry to Europe the pre-favorite of the Italian elections would like to prevent

Finnish doctor Aino Pennanen helps migrants in the Mediterranean whose

ROME Summer and early autumn are busy times for aid organizations that rescue migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe in the Mediterranean.

The good weather leads to many leaving Libya or Tunisia to attempt the dangerous sea journey.

So also this year. At the turn of August-September (you will switch to another service) An average of 750 migrants and refugees who crossed the sea arrived in Italy per day.

The number of people who came across the sea has increased since last year, he says Italian Ministry of the Interior (you are moving to another service). By the beginning of September, more than 66,000 migrants and refugees had come to Italy, compared to around 43,000 at the same time last year.

Finnish doctor Aino Pennanen worked for the second time in August and September in international aid missions of the Red Cross in the crew of the rescue ship Ocean Viking of the SOS Mediterranée organization.

– In three days, we saved a total of 466 people from ten boats that left Libya, Pennanen tells by phone.

You may have to wait a long time for a boarding pass

In Finland, among other things, Pennanen, who works as an on-call doctor, treated migrants’ injuries on the ship. For example, they have skin infections, burns caused by boat fuel, and dehydration, because their journey at sea may have lasted for several days.

In addition, the crew distributes clothes, hygiene items, food and water to the migrants and provides information about the situation. Sometimes a program is also organized – for example music, says Pennanen.

– The time it takes to wait for permission from the authorities to land is long. It’s time to create a pretty tight atmosphere, when there are almost 500 rescued people and crew on the less than 70-meter ship.

This time it took a week to get permission to land from the Italian authorities.

Aid organizations have been scolded in recent years (you switch to another service) European countries that pledging landing permits is one way to complicate rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

For example, in recent years, Malta has increasingly failed to respond to requests for permission to disembark from rescue ships carrying migrants.

Europe should prepare for an increase in immigration

Asylum applications to Italy are almost doubled (you switch to another service) from last year, says the UN refugee agency. This year, almost 37,000 asylum applications have been submitted to the country.

Most of the people who came across the Mediterranean are either Egyptian, Tunisian or Bangladeshi.

Bangladeshis has been working (you switch to another service) in Libya for a long time. To escape the country’s deepening chaos and deteriorating working conditions, they leave by boat for Europe.

– Many of the people we saved were already trying to get to Europe for the second, third or even fourth time, says doctor Aino Pennanen.

Around 1,200 refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe are suspected to have drowned in the Mediterranean this year.

the European Commission has told you in recent months (you are switching to another service)that migration to Europe will increase due to food, cost of living and economic crises.

For example, the poor economic situation and unemployment have plagued North African countries even before the war in Ukraine. With the war, the countries dependent on imported grain from Ukraine and Russia have also drifted into a food crisis (you switch to another service).

The Italian right-wing party promises: “Stop the migrant boats”

In Italy, parliamentary elections will be held this week, Sunday, September 25. The situation in the Mediterranean and immigration are the most important election themes of the right-wing coalition leading opinion polls.

Both the far-right party leading the polls, Brothers of Italy, and the right-wing populist La Lega have campaigned for the stopping of boats coming across the Mediterranean.

Leader of the Italian Brothers Giorgia Meloni wants to close Europe’s southern border. He campaign for it (you switch to another service)that migrant and refugee boats leaving the coastal regions of North Africa would be prohibited from sailing, that is, they would be prevented from leaving.

Italian media have, however, rated (you switch to another service) Melon’s proposal is impossible to implement.

Dispute between the EU and Italy about refugee policy

The European Council is the Rome program director of the Foreign Relations think tank Teresa Coratella says in an interview with that Italy’s right-wing government would certainly challenge the EU regarding asylum policy.

– The EU’s current asylum policy is not working, and it will certainly be a bone of contention between Rome and Brussels, says Coratella.

For years, the EU has paid Libya for the country’s coast guard to transport those who aspire to Europe from the sea back to Libya. The Libyan authorities have at their disposal boats donated by Italy.

Human rights organizations and the UN are repeatedly have criticized the EU for this practice (you will switch to another service) prevent newcomers from entering the territory of the Union.

Finnish doctor Aino Pennanen says that many of the rescued have experienced hard times before reaching Europe.

– What has happened in the immigrants’ home country, on the way or in Libya is often quite difficult and traumatizing, says Pennanen.

According to Pennanen, many of those who left know what conditions await in Libya and at sea.

– They are ready to sacrifice quite a lot to get out of their home countries. They put themselves in immediate danger of life when they go out to sea in a rubber boat.

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