Thursday 29 September 2016

Italy deserves support with migration crisis

Published 20/04/2015 | 02:30

An Italian Coast Guard vessel carries out a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea south of the Italian island of Lampedusa yesterday
An Italian Coast Guard vessel carries out a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea south of the Italian island of Lampedusa yesterday
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during a news conference in Rome

Why did it take a tragedy of the magnitude of 700 migrants drowning in the Mediterranean for the rest of Europe to wake up to the trafficking problem?

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The Italian authorities are dealing with the trafficking of migrants on a daily basis.

Italy's Marina Militare, Guardia Costiera and passing commercial shipping have been continually rescuing desperate migrants, who have been abandoned in treacherous waters off the coast of Italy by criminal traffickers taking advantage of the political and economic instability of north Africa.

Last week alone, 13,500 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean.

More than 700 migrants were on board a 70-foot long vessel which capsized south of the island of Lampedusa.

In the first 24 hours of the search operation, only 28 people were rescued and 24 bodies retrieved.

Italy deserves credit for its actions, but it also deserves support. On foot of this latest tragedy, EU governments are expected to at long last hold an emergency meeting this week to discuss a strategy to respond to the crisis.

Irish Independent

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