lunedì 9 giugno 2014

UN says Italy must not be left alone on migrants

Spokesman calls for 'international response'

(ANSA) - New York, June 9 - A United Nations spokesperson said Monday that Italy must be given more help to cope with the huge of waves of migrants arriving on its shores from North Africa. "The question of migrants in the Mediterranean is not a problem that Italy can face on its own," the spokesperson said. "Italy is supporting a very heavy weight, but it's only an entry point. "There cannot just be a national response, an international response is needed". Italy is having trouble managing after a massive increase this year in the already big flow of migrants who attempt the hazardous crossing from North Africa to Italy.

Minister Angelino Alfano said almost 40,000 migrants landed on Italy's shores in the first five months of this year - almost as many as the total for all of last year. Many thousands more have arrived so far in June after being rescued by Italian authorities as part of the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) Operation launched after around 400 people were killed on two migrant-boat disasters in October.

Premier Matteo Renzi accused the European Union of looking the other way and not doing enough to help Italy after dozens of people were killed in two new migrant disasters in May. "Europe explains everything about how to catch swordfish, but it turns its head when we go to rescue people in trouble," he said. The government has come under fire over the Mare Nostrum Operation, which some opposition parties say is encouraging people traffickers to increase illegal crossings. 

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