‘Migrant voluntary returns from Italy increase’  

Voluntary returns of migrants have risen sharply in Italy this year to 1,132 from 869 in 2017, while a further 2,700 are expected between 2019-2021, interior ministry sources said on Thursday. 

A total 4,606 migrants were repatriated (by charter or scheduled flight) from January to September 2017, compared with 4,704 over the same period this year, according to the sources. 

A total 22,027 migrants reached Italy this year through 28 October, less than a fifth of the number who arrived over the same period of 2017, according to the United Nations migration agency IOM.  

The drop in boat migrant arrivals follows the populist government’s closure of Italian ports to charity rescue ships, the European Union’s backing of Libyan coastguard patrols in the Mediterranean and a deal struck last year by former interior minister Marco Minniti with tribal chieftans in southern Libya to stop migrant smugglers and traffickers.  

(Fonte: Adnkronos)