Italy asks the EU for help in the fight against immigration. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is confident that Europe cannot just turn a blind eye to a clearly crisis situation
Over the past 48 hours, Italian services have rescued 4,000 immigrants trying to reach Europe on boats. This was announced on Wednesday by the Italian Minister of Internal Affairs and asked the EU to help cope with "already evidently striking" the crisis. According to Italian radio, Angelino Alfano said: “The situation is getting worse, and these are not the last boats to arrive here. The problem is very serious, and Europe should immediately take action, because it is not only about the Mediterranean border, but about the European border. "
According to Senor Alfano, two merchant ships saved two boats with 300 and 361 passengers on board. “And in these boats there was at least one dead person,” the minister added. Moreover, another group of 1,049 migrants (including 91 women and three children) was spotted by a navy helicopter, whose pilot noted that the boat was sailing somehow too hard. As a result, all passengers were evacuated by ship and delivered to the port of Sicily.
Italy, in fact, is the main gateway to Europe for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea: usually in crowded and fragile vessels. Improving the situation at sea and the ongoing unrest in Libya have led to an increase in the number of daredevils embarking on a life-threatening journey in an attempt to escape from the control of militants, established three years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
Senior Alfano also said that over the past year, Italy has saved about 15,000 immigrants. And according to various estimates, from 300,000 to 600,000 people in Libya are ready to board the smuggling courts.
Moreover, many of these people arrived in Libya from other African or Central Eastern countries, such as Syria. Moreover, according to the minister, "these are the most modest assessments confirmed by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem."
“Smugglers, death traders, make money on human grief, on death. And even our regular rescue operations work in their favor, as they shorten the path, making it thus more profitable and less risky," said Angelino Alfano.
After in October 2013 more than 400 immigrants from Eritrea and Syria died off the coast of Italy, not reaching the target, the Italian authorities launched the maritime operation "Mare Nostrum" ("Our Sea") the Latin name of the Mediterranean Sea. Now the waters between Sicily and North Africa are constantly patrolled by the ships of the Italian Navy.