Fifteen African migrants, nine of them children, have died from heat exposure as they sailed from North Africa heading for Spain.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in Athens for meetings with Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis, deplored the deaths as an almost “unbearable tragedy”
Hundreds of illegal immigrants die trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands. Many more in the crossing from North Africa and Turkey to Greece.
“ Either we help Africa, either we fight poverty and desperation, or our future as a region of well-being and progress falls into question.”
Both prime ministers backed proposals for a harmonised EU immigration policy and tougher border patrols, but called on the 27-nation bloc to avoid becoming a “fortress” against would-be migrants.
Zapatero believes that all EU states should donate 0.7 percent of its budget to aid.