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Italy: Alcohol sales banned for Tunisian illegal immigrants

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(AKI) - None of the thousands of illegal immigrants who have reached the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa will be able to celebrate their arrival with a drink, according to a new law.

Bernardino De Rubeis, mayor of the island's main town Lampedusa and Linosa, is expected to issue an ordinance banning the sale of alcohol to any of the thousands of mostly Tunisians who have reached the island's shores since the fall of Tunisan president Zine al-Abidine Ben on 14 January.

Almost 5,300 Tunisians have landed on the tiny island of Lampedusa since since 15 January, almost doubling its population, according to the Italian government. Italian interior minister Roberto Maroni has called the influx of immigrants an "exodus of biblical proportions" and asked the European Union for 100 million euros in funds to boost security.

De Rubeis said "around 50" drunk immigrants were spotted Monday in the Lampedusa and Linosa centre, leading him to implement an alcohol-sale ban.

"This can't be tolerated," De Rubeis said.

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