Napolitano denounces 'massacre of innocents'
Human trafficking must be fought by EU, says president03 October, 15:07
"It's essential to stop the criminal trafficking of human beings, in co-operation with the countries of origin," Napolitano said shortly after news spread of the deaths of at least 94 people jammed into a ship that caught fire in the seas off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
Many migrants die every year attempting the hazardous crossing between North Africa and southern-most shores of Italy.
These "journeys of despair and death" by asylum seekers who often pay traffickers to help them flee their countries - often in Africa and the Middle East - for Europe must be better controlled, said Napolitano.
This demonstrates "the absolute necessity of decisions and action by the international community, and the European Union in the first place".
The European Commission said EU policy was "fragmented" among members and "navel-gazing" and should change to show "more solidarity" with front-line countries like Italy.