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EU responds to Italian calls for help over migrants

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EU responds to Italian calls for help over migrants


Nearly 1,000 Tunisian migrants landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa overnight adding to what’s been described as a humanitarian emergency.

In the last week nearly 4,000 have made the hazardous trip, fleeing the turmoil in their own country.

Lampedusa is a Sicilian island closer to Africa then mainland Italy, which migrants have used in the past as a way into Europe.

Alarmed, Italy’s Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni said he wanted the European Union to intervene by putting pressure on countries like Tunisia to act responsibly in preventing their own people from leaving.

The migrants are currently being given temporary care until a decision is made about their future.

Later today both Italy’s foreign minister and the EU’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, will visit Tunisia. Calls by Italy for patrol boats to be stationed near its coast to intercept the migrants have been rejected by Tunisia’s interim government.

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