Italy's PM calls on European allies to help with migrant crisis

03 Juillet, 2017, 02:21 | Auteur: Lynn Cook
  • The Aquarius rescue ship run by NGOs SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders arrives in the port of Salerno with more than 1,000 migrants onboard

He also recognized that as long as war and economic deprivation force people to seek a better future elsewhere, migrants and refugees will continue to seek refuge in Europe. Migrants and refugees rescued in the operations are generally brought to Italian ports.

The UN refugee agency is mounting pressure on Europe to help Italy defuse the "unfolding tragedy" of tens of thousands migrants flooding its shores.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told a press conference on Thursday that the situation was no longer sustainable unless Italy received a lot more help from the rest of the EU.

Libya is the most common departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea. The UN has warned of people in Libya being bought and sold like slaves and that a high rate of migrants to Europe have been tortured or suffered sexual assault.

French President Emmanuel Macron's new government has ruled out building a reception centre for asylum seekers in Calais, saying it would only encourage more people to come, and has promised to reinforce security.

He said that Italy was playing its part in taking in those rescued and offering protection to those in need.

Ahead of a meeting of Europe's interior ministers next week, Italy's leaders have stepped up their pleas for help in dealing with the growing number of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores.

The country's anti-mass migration, populist parties, such as the Northern League and Five Star Movement, have seen increased public support since the beginning of the continent's migrant crisis.

He stressed that "this cannot be an Italian problem alone". Some Italians are against the decision to settle the refugees in the European country.

Over the past years, the southern European country has petitioned for intervention from the European Union without success. But many of the rescues have clustered together, partially because of weather on the sometimes choppy Mediterranean and partly depending on the pace that smugglers can procure boats to pack with migrants.

The EU has pledged more financial support for Italy, but it hasn't followed through on a previous plan to relieve the country's migrant crisis.

One of South America's biggest cocaine kingpins, who evaded the police for three decades and even underwent plastic surgery to change his face, has been captured, the Brazilian authorities said.

"We think rescuing human life is paramount", said Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum.