The situation on the tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is “explosive” after more than 2,000 migrants landed in just 24 hours, as smugglers switch away from rubber dinghies in favour of steel-hulled fishing boats that can carry hundreds of asylum seekers. It was the largest number of migrants to arrive on Italian shores in a single day so far this year. The surge was seized on by Matteo Salvini, the head of the nationalist League party, who criticised the ruling coalition despite being a part of it. He demanded an emergency meeting with Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, to discuss ways to deter migrant boats from arriving. He said Italians, exhausted by the pandemic, successive lockdowns and a drop in GDP of around nine per cent in the last year, were in no mood to be welcoming. “With millions of Italians in economic difficulty, we cannot look after thousands of clandestine migrants, with 12,000 already having arrived so far this year,” Mr Salvini said. Giorgia Meloni, the head of the hard-Right Brothers of Italy party, which is fast catching up with the League in popularity, called for Italy to organise a “naval blockade” to prevent smugglers’ boats reaching land. “The situation on Lampedusa is literally explosive,” said Domenico Pianese, the secretary-general of a police union.