Barroso says Europe cannot turn other way to migrant crisis
EC President 'shocked, saddened' by scenes on Lampedusa09 October, 13:18
"Europe is with the people of Lampedusa. The problem of one of our countries, such as Italy, must be perceived as a problem for the whole of Europe," Barroso said during a visit to the Sicilian island with Italian Premier Enrico Letta.
"We can react in a more adequate way together. Europe cannot look the other way". Barroso said the EU would give Italy an additional 30 million euros to cope with the thousands of refugees arriving from North Africa every year. He also said the commission would press EU leaders to accelerate efforts to assist with the situation in the Mediterranean and said the burden of accepting migrants should be shared out better among member states.
"The EU states will achieve good results via cooperation," Barroso told a press conference. "Solidarity with the states who are exposed and accepting so many refugees is needed. Last year 332,000 arrived in Europe, especially in Germany, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Belgium.
"It's necessary to share the borders of the member states and the burden of the initiatives". Barroso added that he was deeply moved by seeing the coffins of victims of last week's disaster.
"The image of the hundreds of coffins will never leave my mind," he said.
"It's an image you cannot forget. There were coffins of children and their mothers. It shocked and saddened me".