Friday, May 27, 2016

SUMMER TIDES, 2016 - 3

Almost unbelieveably, tonight I find myself writing about the third migrant boat tragedy to have occurred within three days and I am wondering, not for the first time, how many people have to die in this way before politicians the world over show the shame they ought to be feeling.

Earlier today an Italian naval vessel went to the aid of a migrant  boat which had half sunk 35 miles off the coast of Libya. The Navy and other vessels called in to help managed to save 135 migrants, some of whom were children but ten bodies were found at the bottom of the boat.  Altogether 45 bodies have been recovered so far but dozens more may have drowned.

La Repubblica reports that at least 200 people have died in the three disasters of the last three days and that 15,000 have been saved at sea over the last five days. Of these 2,000 were saved today alone in operations led by the Italian Navy and Coast Guard.

The following is an extract from the G7 Leaders' Declaration of 26th - 27th May:

"The G7 recognizes the ongoing large scale movements of migrants and refugees as a global challenge which requires a global response. We commit to increase global assistance to meet immediate and long-term needs of refugees and other displaced persons as well as their host communities. The G7 encourages international financial institutions and bilateral donors to bolster their financial and technical assistance."

So, Mr President, Mme Chancellor, Messrs Prime Minister, Messrs President of the Council and Commission President: which one of you is going to start?

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