The Strategist

EU Is Not Going to Turn the Migrants Away

05/04/2015 - 14:23

The EU does not intend to follow the example of Australia, which does not accept the migrants ships from third countries, turning them when entering the national territorial waters, said the European Commission representative Natasha Bertaud.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker
European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels that EU officials had not contacted Australia's authorities and had no intention of following its example.
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged EU leaders to adopt the Australian policy towards migrants, which has been criticized by the UN.

After another tragedy on the night of April 19 in the Strait of Sicily, as a result of the shipwreck there were killed about 800 people, the problem was set again at the limelight of world attention. After the incident, the leaders of the European Union on April 23 held a special summit on immigration issues, where it was decided to increase funding for rescue operations of refugees.

The flow of refugees from Africa and the Middle East through the Mediterranean strengthens - carriers of people enjoy favorable weather conditions. Over the past two days the Italian coast guard took off the boats about 5,000 workers sailed from Libya. 10 people were found perished.

Libyan authorities, in turn, reported that 1000 migrants are seized - 500 were found on a farm near the town of Al-Dzhufra, others were stopped in boats set out from Tripoli.

Egyptian coast guard saved 30 illegal immigrants in distress with a boat that sailed to the shores of Greece. Three people were killed.

According to Italian investigators, people carriers in Libya earn around 80,000 euros for each ship.
How migrants die on the way to Europe

These almost ordinary incident of which you probably cannot read in the media. Most often, the Italian authorities fish the bodies out the sea after such catastrophes for weeks. For example, in October 2013 after the collapse of the ship with migrants from Somalia and Eritrea 111 bodies were found, including three infants, another 200 people were reported missing. Then the Italian government announced mourning in schools across Italy holding a minute of silence. President Giorgio Napolitano called the tragedy "a massacre of innocents." And when reporters asked the head of Lampedusa island health department Pietro Bartolo what kind of help he needed to eliminate the consequences of the disaster, he said rather succinctly: "The coffins and hearses." As the representative of UNICEF in Italy Andrea Yakomini stated in turn, a humanitarian catastrophe occurs off the coast of Italy, and the Mediterranean Sea has become a cemetery.
The inhabitants of the poorest countries of North Africa are fleeing to Europe in the hope to gain a foothold on the continent. Their lives at home are so bad that the prospect of drowning while crossing by an old barge or inflatable boat cannot stop them. According to BBC, 8000 illegals were taken from boats near the coast of Italy just for one week in April. A significant part of them are children and pregnant women, who often find themselves in the midst of the sea without food and fresh water. Many die from dehydration having not reached European shores.

The smugglers use all possible means of transport. To avoid collision with the border services, the ship just put on autopilot and sent to the shores of Italy, where he was already trying to intercept the Italian authorities. According to Frontex (the agency of the European Union on the security of external borders), illegal transporters often fire at the ships of the European Union to prevent the confiscation of their boats.

Passengers themselves are often unaware that the team has already left the ship, and they are left to themselves. For example, recently, an abandoned Moldovan cargo ship "Blue Sky Em" was found not far from the Greek island of Corfu, on board of which about a thousand people in Iraq and Syria was waiting in appalling conditions trying to illegally enter Europe. The boat’s passenger caught the signal, called 112 rescue number and said that for a week the people on the ship have not seen food and water and do not know where they are. After finding the ship, the Coast Guard climbed aboard, disconnected the autopilot and brought the ship in the Italian port of Gallipoli.
Europe has not yet found the way of how to respond to such incidents. The authorities just have to pull the people out of the water trying to save the victims and survivors. And most often, it is the authorities of Italy, as it has become a major haven for migrants from Libya, Syria and Somalia - the most problematic from a security perspective regions of the world.