At least 60, 000 immigrants arrived by boat in Italy in 2011, new figures released by the Civil Protection have revealed.
Out of this, 24,000 were Tunisians. A total of 50,000 arrived at Lampedusa and Linosa. Some 10,611 were granted residence permits on humanitarian grounds.
The Arab Spring and Libyan war made Italy a destination for thousands of people fleeing North African countries. This made the Italian Government declare a state of humanitarian emergency on from 12th February 2011 to 31st December 2012.
The Civil Protection together with the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI) and the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) had to prepare a ‘Plan for the Management of the Reception of Migrants’ to ensure an equitable distribution of migrants throughout the country.