Malta, Spain and Italy have issued a call for help from Brussels to cope with the tragedy of illegal immigrants risking their lives to get to Europe. On Monday two more people were found dead by coastguards off the Canary Islands – the 46 others on their boat were taken ashore and given medical attention.
The Canaries, like Italy’s Lampedusa and the Island of Malta, have found themselves on the frontline, and Valetta has described the situation as at crisis point. The Maltese interior minister has said the EU should react to the influx as it would a natural disaster. The EU’s newly created external border security agency Frontex, has several schemes in place to stem the flow of migrants from Africa, but the bloc is still criticised for a perceived lack of coordination.