'Shameful' handling of migrant ship shows need for EU asylum reform: U.N.
GENEVA: U. N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi urged the European Union on Wednesday to sort out its “shameful” refugee policy after both Italy and Malta turned away a ship carrying hundreds of migrants.
Some 629 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, have been in the central Mediterranean since Sunday aboard the Aquarius, a vessel operated by SOS Méditerranée, a Franco-German charity that tries to rescue people making the risky crossing to Europe.
“It is shameful. As a European, I felt shame — shame — that there was a boat — there is a boat — in the Mediterranean, and for several days nobody wanted to take these people,” Grandi told Reuters.
The episode, coming a week after the installation of Italy’s new anti-establishment government, has heightened tensions within the European Union over migration.