Lampedusa is a tiny Italian island near Malta. It is located 205km from Porto Empedocle in Sicily, 167km from Tunisia and 167km from Libya. It has only 6,000 permanent inhabitants. With the recent failure of Libya to honour a 2004 agreement the Island's resources are being overwhelmed by clandestine immigrants from Africa en-route to Europe.
The immigrants come through Lampedusa, as if through a permanently open door. They do not want to stay too long. Their objective is to go somewhere else, to the rich cities of the north of Italy or of Europe. It is a problem for the European Community, as much as Italy's problem.