Thursday’s deadly boat disaster off Lampedusa has renewed pressure from Italy for more help from the European Union to combat the longstanding migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
In Italy’s parliament, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that this was a challenge facing the EU as a whole and not just Italy, arguing that Europe’s identity is at stake.
“A state that does not protect its borders does not exist,” Alfano said in an emotional address. “So Europe must decide whether ‘to be or not to be’. Europe must decide whether to protect its own borders because protecting its borders will protect its own citizens but also protect from death those who are travelling across the borders, without protection, in the hands of the merchants of death, without insurance, without anything.”