Politics

EU Commissioner of Immigration Italy migrant situation is “untenable”

According to the BBC Italy is thinking of closing it’s ports to migrants.

The warning came as Italy’s EU representative, Maurizio Massari, warned in a letter to the bloc the situation had become “unsustainable”.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has accused other European nations of “looking the other way”.

An estimated 10,000 people are believed to have attempted the journey from North Africa in the past four days.

More than 73,000 migrants have landed in Italy this year, an increase of 14% on the same period last year.

Some 2,000 have died or are missing feared drowned, the UN’s refugee agency says, the vast majority attempting the crossing from Libya.

Libya is a gateway to Europe for migrants from across sub-Saharan Africa and also from the Arabian peninsula, Egypt, Syria and Bangladesh. Many are fleeing war, poverty or persecution.

The reaction from the EU showcases more of an issue.

The European Commissioner for Immigration, Dimitri Avramopoulos, met Italy’s Mr Massari to discuss the crisis.

“Italy is right that the situation is untenable,” he said, adding that the country’s management of the crisis was “exemplary”.

It was time for EU member states to “step up”, he said, and contribute financial support to Italy if needed, along with aid to African nations like Libya to reduce the numbers of people leaving – a promise made in February.

“Now is the moment to deliver, and we will hold them to this,” the commissioner said.

“In everything we do, we all have a humanitarian obligation to save lives… we cannot leave a handful of EU countries on their own to deal with this.”

Medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres said it had been calling for more support from the EU for some time, urging that “all the states should take part”, Ansa news agency reported.

Hey, EU it might be a good idea to stop forcing your “states” to fulfill migrant quotas!

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