Monday, 20 November, 2017

Italy gets Brussels backing for European Union peers to accept migrants off boats

ANSA       
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Sammy Stanley | 30 June, 2017, 00:29

About 72,000 migrants arrived in Italy on the perilous route from Libya between January 1 and June 21, roughly 20 percent more than in 2016, and more than 2,000 died on the way, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Italy is taking a formal step with the European Commission in relation to the large numbers of asylum seekers landing on its shores, sources told the Italian news agency ANSA.

On Wednesday alone, ships from aid groups MOAS and Doctors Without Borders, as well as Frontex ships, arrived in Italian ports with the more than 10,000 migrants rescued in recent days.

The law requires the rescue of people in distress on the high seas, and this self-blockade of Italian ports would leave migrants floating in the Mediterranean, including those in most NGO rescue ships. The Italian coast guard co-ordinate the rescue operations in the Mediterranean, but many foreign vessels, including many chartered by NGOS, are involved.

The UN Migration Agency said 8,863 migrants were rescued trying to reach Italy from Libya between June 24 and 27.

There has been a dramatic rise, partly thanks to good weather, in the number of migrants attempting the short but perilous Mediterranean crossing.

Earlier this month, Breitbart London reported on the ousting at local elections in Italy of a mayor who had struck a deal with the Hungarian financier to turn the tiny island of Lampedusa into a gateway to Europe for migrants travelling from Africa. Other countries, such as Poland, have refused to host asylum seekers and lighten Italy's load. The total number of migrants reaching Europe by sea so far this year is less than half that counted in the same period of 2016, thanks to a deal between the European Union and Turkey which blocked a once-busy route to Greece, but the number coming to Italy has risen.

Italy's ruling, center-left Democratic party has come under pressure over the migrant issue.

Italy complained for years to be delivered to it-even in the face of the migration crisis and the arrivals growing by migrants from Libya, and called for greater solidarity from its european partners. The suggestion has widely been reported in Italian media.

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