This is Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter, exclusively for Reaction subscribers.
The local press in Italy has described what unfolded on the island of Lampedusa this week as being a “total collapse.” In just two days, around 7000 migrants landed and the migration system fell apart. The reception centre is built to house only 400 souls. Understandably, the authorities could not cope. Police clashed with migrants. There were appeals for help but from the rest of Europe there is little chance of anything much changing because the nation states are divided on what to do. Central and eastern European states fear being asked to settle annual quotas of migrants. France and Italy are less than completely aligned on how to police the Mediterranean, which is the frontline with many migrants in search of work, welfare and opportunity crossing from north Africa.