For The Telegraph
Up to 20,000 migrants and asylum seekers could be turfed onto the streets in Italy because of a shortfall in funding for the country’s overstretched reception centres, the interior ministry has warned.
A budget shortfall of 60 million euros could lead to the closing of some reception centres within weeks.
Migrants would then have to fend for themselves but would also be free to try to head towards the wealthier countries of northern Europe, including Britain.
The interior ministry warned that having so many migrants wandering around Italy “could create problems of public order because of the social tensions that it risks generating.”
Around 132,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to Italy this year alone, having set out in flimsy dinghies and leaking fishing boats from the coasts of Libya and Egypt.
They have joined tens of thousands who remain in the country after arriving by the same means last year.
In total, Italy is paying for the accommodation and upkeep of 160,000 migrants and asylum seekers, mostly in government-run facilities but also in privately-managed centres.