Divers recover more bodies from Italy refugee wreck
LAMPEDUSA, Italy — Divers in Italy recovered 16 more bodies on Sunday after a shipwreck in which more than 300 African refugees are feared to have died, as a government minister called for an easing of immigration rules. Officials said the death toll now stood at 127, as divers resumed an operation suspended since Friday because of rough seas off the island of Lampedusa where Thursday’s tragedy unfolded. Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge was on the dock of the remote outcrop as corpses were being unloaded, after calling for an easing of Italy’s tough rules against illegal immigration.
We have to understand it and change our laws," the minister said, adding that she was planning to triple the available accommodation in asylum centres to 24,000 bed spaces because of the growing influx. Prime Minister Enrico Letta, meanwhile, said European Union Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso would visit the island on Wednesday, and blamed Libya for the growing influx of asylum seekers in Italy.
In an interview with news channel SkyTG24, Mr Letta said Libya — where the shipwreck boat departed from — should adopt "stringent" measures to stop the migrant boats from leaving its shores. "Our problem today is called Libya," he said.
Italy has requested that the refugee issue be put on the agenda of a meeting of European interior ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday and of a summit of EU leaders at the end of the month. Local authorities on Lampedusa struggled to cope with the new arrivals.
The refugee centre has 250 places but is now housing more than 1,000 people, including those from previous landings. Many have been forced to sleep outside.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business DaySimilar Stories