Migrant crisis deepens in Italy, interior minister urges EU response
Updated: 2015-06-16 10:35
A migrant holds a banner at the Saint Ludovic border crossing on the Mediterranean Sea between Ventimiglia, Italy and Menton, France, June 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
MILAN, Italy - Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said here on Monday his country will fight at the European level for the relocation of African asylum seekers to other parts of the union amid deepening migrant crisis in Italy.
Alfano said following a meeting with authorities in business city Milan that the images of around 100 migrants camped on seaside rocks in the town of Ventimiglia in northern Italy as France refused them entry are a "punch in Europe's face."
"These people have crossed the European sea border, and now they want to go to other parts of Europe. We cannot close our eyes in front of such a pressure," he stressed.
Alfano said he will take the images of the migrants camped on seaside rocks with him to the meeting of the European Union (EU) interior ministers in Luxembourg scheduled on Tuesday.
The European Commission (EC) said on Monday that it was verifying the situation of controls at the Italian border after France refused admission to the migrants.
The EC proposal to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other parts of the EU has triggered mixed reactions, with many states including France opposing.