'Shame­ful' han­dling of mi­grant ship shows need for EU asy­lum re­form: U.N.

Daily Messenger - - International -

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.

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