More must be done to save migrants, EU

Avramopoulos comments after 29 froze to death off Lampedusa

10 February, 12:44

    European Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos European Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS - More must be done to save migrants in the Mediterranean, European Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said Tuesday, a day after 29 migrants were found frozen to death on board a boat off the southern Italian sisland of Lampedusa. "A drama is unfolding. Our fight against traffickers continues in a constant and coordinated way... Every life lost is one too many," he tweeted. More than 3,000 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

    On Monday Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini tweeted "horror off Lampedusa, people don't die in a shipwreck but from the cold - this is the consequence of the end of #MareNostrum", referring to Italy's former sweeping rescue-and-surveillance operation in the Mediterranean.

    Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Boldrini has repeatedly voiced her concern for the end of operation Mare Nostrum, which she says has created a gap in services to those fleeing their home countries via the Mediterranean. Last November 1, Mare Nostrum was replaced by the smaller Triton operation of the EU's Frontex border patrol agency.

    (ANSAmed).

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