Roberto Maroni, Italy’s Interior Minister, speaking to the Italian Parliament’s Schengen Committee, said that as a result of Italy’s 2009 push-back agreement with Italy, migratory flows have been mostly diverted to the west to Spain and to the east to Greece. According to Maroni, to the extent that migrants are reaching Italy by sea, they are doing so by routes from Tunisia and other countries, but not from Libya. Maroni said that “this resolves Italy’s problem, but not Europe’s problem.” [“Questo risolve i problemi dell’Itala, ma non dell’Europa.”]
According to Maroni there has been a 96% decrease in the arrival of irregular migrants in Italy over the first three months of 2010 compared with the same period last year: from 1 January to 4 April there have reportedly been 170 arrivals compared with 4,573 arrivals over the same period in 2009.
Maroni praised the push-back agreement by saying “We’ve had 28,000 fewer arrivals [since its May 2009 implementation] and we’ve saved countless lives. It’s an unprecedented and concrete achievement which is the result of Berlusconi’s diplomacy and the agreement he struck with Libya.”.