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Letta declares Lampedusa shipwreck victims Italian citizens

'A day of mourning in Italy and all Europe, which must do more'

04 October, 19:26
Letta declares Lampedusa shipwreck victims Italian citizens (see related stories on Lampedusa disaster) (ANSA) - Siena, October 4 - Italian Premier Enrico Letta announced Friday that the victims of Thursday's migrant-boat disaster near to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa have been posthumously awarded Italian citizenship. ''The hundreds who lost their lives off Lampedusa yesterday are Italian citizens as of today'', Letta told a British Council conference here.

''Today is a day of mourning in Italy, one that involves all of Europe,'' Letta continued.

Letta agreed with Pope Francis that the fatal shipwreck in which 300 migrants, many of them women and children, are feared dead is ''a disgrace''. Europe must ''raise the level'' of intervention in order to prevent such tragedies from repeating, the premier added.