EU extends Mediterranean rescue mission until 2015

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By Euronews
EU extends Mediterranean rescue mission until 2015

Faced with an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, the EU has extended its rescue mission off the Italian coast until the end of 2015.

Italy will receive an extra 13.7 million euros, in addition to the more than five hundred million euros that has already been set aside.

“Italia no es sola, Europe is there, Europe is there with its support, political support, with its initiatives and with its fundings,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration.

The mission, known as Triton, has come under fire from human rights groups.

Amnesty International on Thursday said it offers “no concrete solutions to protecting and saving lives.”

Triton has no operational resources of its own, leaving an enormous financial burden on the Italian coastguard to help refugees in distress.

An estimated 3,000 people died last year trying to cross the Mediterranean.