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Migrants' deaths a European issue, says Alfano

Politicians call for greater support for Italy with migration

03 October, 15:11
Migrants' deaths a European issue, says Alfano (ANSA) - Rome, October 3 - Thursday's migrant boat disaster off Italy's southern coast should serve as a wake-up call for the rest of the European Union, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.

Italy cannot continue to shoulder the increasing burden of major waves of migrants into Europe that lands on the island of Lampedusa, said Alfano, follow news of the deaths of at least 94 people jammed into a ship that caught fire and sank.

"We hope that the European Union realizes that it is not an Italian but a European drama," said Alfano, who rushed to the scene with Premier Enrico Letta.

Many migrants die every year attempting the hazardous crossing between North Africa and southernmost shores of Italy. Italian politicians often complain that the EU does not provide Italy sufficient assistance with managing the waves of migrants who arrive from North Africa every year trying to start a better life in Europe.