Parliament said in a statement that the state of emergency which gives police and local authorities additional powers to tackle the influx, was extended to the entire country to combat the persistent and exceptional arrival of illegal immigrants. It did not give further details. The state of emergency was earlier in effect only for the southern provinces of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria. Italy's long shoreline and proximity to Africa make it a popular entry point into Europe for thousands of Africans who make hazardous journeys in flimsy boats each year. Berlusconi also won parliamentary approval for a new package of reforms to tackle the issue of illegal immigration.
Hat tip, Hibernia Girl!