The head of the EU’s border control agency, Frontex, says the Tunisian government must take some of the responsibility for what he calls the “traumatic situation in Lampedusa.”
The Italian island is under strain from thousands of migrants who have crossed the sea from Tunisia in the past week.
Speaking on the sidelines of a European police conference in Berlin, Ilkka Laitinen said: “That has to be solved in a comprehensive way, putting all the political sectors together, putting all the practitioners, authorities together with a common strategy. Border control is part of this solution but it is not the [only] solution.”
The authorities in Rome are alarmed. The Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said he fears a further influx of migrants into Italy from other north African countries, as part of repercussions of the instability in Tunisia.
Italy has began moving Tunisian migrants from Lampedusa, while calling on EU partners to help take up the strain of accommodating refugees and asylum seekers.