Gianni Pittella: Lampedusa tragedy - "EU Governments must react now. We call for an extraordinary European Council meeting"
Following the latest news coming from Lampedusa, where hundreds of people are feared dead after their boat capsized off the Sicilian coast, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella, stated:
"The deafening silence of so many member states is an embarrassment for Europe, and is no longer acceptable. Following the latest news coming from Lampedusa, where hundreds of people are feared dead after their boat capsized off the Sicilian coast, European governments must put their selfishness aside. The hypocrisy must stop: the responsibility for this tragedy does not lie with the European Union but with individual European governments; and some more than others.
"Therefore, we call for an immediate extraordinary European Council summit to establish once and for all a European ‘Mare Nostrum’ operation. There is no alternative. Moreover, a joint action, implemented by all European home affairs and foreign ministers, is needed to put an end to this bloodbath, firstly by breaking down the criminal networks of traffickers and smugglers, and secondly by supporting a credible resettlement program and strengthening cooperation with third countries along the main migratory routes. Triton is tragically incapable of avoiding new tragedies in the Mediterranean.
"We knew it. We said it. EU governments must react. Now!"