Muslim Boat People
Italy is overwhelmed as Muslims from
North Africa pour into the country.
Italy threatened to allow refugees to cross its borders into neighboring countries on Tuesday unless the European Union takes charge of a sea operation to manage the flow of migrants crossing in boats from North Africa.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano demanded more help after the Italian navy task force 'Mare Nostrum' rescued more than 200 migrants and recovered 17 bodies when the boat carrying them sank off the Libyan coast.
"The European Union has two options: either it comes to the Mediterranean to put the EU flag on Mare Nostrum or we will let migrants with right of asylum leave for other countries," Alfano wrote on messaging site Twitter reports Reuters News.
|"Allah says we should be Italians."|
Up to 600,000 would-be migrants are in position to set sail from
North Africa, in an onslaught on Europe’s coastline, the Italian
government has warned. (Daily Mail)
The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Italian politicians have long demanded more help from the rest of the European Union to deal with the crisis, which disproportionately affects the bloc's southernmost countries.
They have called for a change to rules which oblige asylum seekers to remain in the country in which they first arrive.
At least 34,800 people have made the treacherous crossing from North Africa to Europe so far this year, compared to 43,000 in all of 2013.
This puts the annual total on track to surpass the 60,000 who made the trip in 2011 when the Arab Spring revolutions loosened border controls, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
"This was the second shipwreck in a week," Admiral Mario Culcasi, commander of the Mare Nostrum task force set up to deal with the crisis, told Reuters. "They are a symptom perhaps of the difficulties that the smugglers are facing, above all in finding seaworthy boats," he said.
Merchant ships saw the boat sink and began rescue operations while alerting authorities in Lampedusa, the island midway between Sicily and Tunisia where the naval task force set up to handle the migrant boat crisis is based.
Muslims Are Taking Over Britain And Europe
|Muslim immigration to Europe.|
|African immigrants went on the rampage in Bari, Italy, blocking roads and a railway line, setting things on fire and attacking police and passers-by with iron bars. |
(Islam versus Europe)