Calls for action on Europe migrant crisis
Calls multiplied Sunday for Europe finally to get to grips with its ever-deadlier migrant crisis after Austria’s horrific truck tragedy, as people continued to pour into Hungary from Serbia despite a newly completed razor-wire barrier.
Hungarian police said a fifth suspected human trafficker had been arrested over Thursday’s gruesome discovery of 71 decomposing corpses in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway. Three children saved from another vehicle meanwhile left hospital.
Pope Francis called Sunday for “effective cooperation” against “crimes that offend all humanity .”
The truck tragedy, plus yet another Mediterranean shipwreck claiming at least 111 lives, have served as chilling reminders of Europe’s failure to cope with the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants.
The United Nations estimates 300,000 people have fled conflict and hardship in the Middle East and Africa for a better life in Europe this year alone. Millions more sit in camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Some 2,500 have died in the treacherous journey, most drowning in the waters of the Mediterranean after being crammed into unseaworthy boats.
“Europe needs to stop being moved and start moving,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, calling again for a fairer distribution of migrants among the European Union’s 28 members.
Germany, France and the United Kingdom made a joint call for an urgent meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in the next two weeks to take “immediate action” and find “concrete steps .”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that people “fleeing war, persecution, torture, oppression, must be welcomed” and should be treated with “dignity .”
Syrian children sleep in a park in Belgrade, Serbia, early Sunday, Aug. 30. Migrants including many women with babies and small children, sleep in a park in central Belgrade while waiting for an opportunity to travel north to cross the border with Hungary and enter the European Union.