Italy will seek an overhaul of European Asylum policies and emergency action to handle a crisis that has seen tens of thousands of African migrants arrive unsicily and hundreds of deaths, prime minister, Enrico Letta said on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of a European Council meeting Thursday and Friday, Letta said chronic instability in Africa and the Middle East meant the disaster earlier this month, in which as many as 550 migrants drowned, would not be the last of their kind.
“No one should be under any illusion that these tragedies are passing episode or that they will end with the arrival of bad weather,” he told the Italian Parliament.
Italy last week stepped up naval and air patrols with four patrol ships, long range helicopters and unmanned drone aircraft to spot migrant boats in southern Mediterranean. It has been offered some bilateral help by Finland and Slovenia but Letta said a more concerned EU effort is needed.