While the pink boat of artist Banksy – with a crew of eight non-hierarchical vegans – garnered most of the ongoing international press attention, a more serious migrant problem hit the south of Italy at the weekend as an estimated 1,000 migrants were brought ashore by Italian coastguard vessels.

About 500 arrived on Friday alone, in 30 small boats from Tunisia.

The mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa told the ANSA news agency: “Lampedusa is no longer able to cope with this situation. Either the government takes immediate decisions or the whole island will go on strike. We cannot manage the emergency and the situation is now really unsustainable.”

Last week the governor of Sicily ordered that all migrant centres be closed, citing overcrowding and coronavirus infections, but the ruling was overturned by a local court.

“Sicily cannot continue to pay for the indifference of Brussels and the silence of Rome”, Nello Musumeci said.

But no-one is listening to news they don’t want to hear.

PHOTO: File photo shows migrants who landed in Lampedusa in August last year Reuters