Europe wakes up to refugee crisis

he European Union Home Affairs Ministers will hold emergency talks on September 14 in Brussels on the continent’s escalating migration crisis, the Luxembourg government said on Sunday. “The situation of migration phenomena outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions,” said the statement from Luxembourg, which holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency.

“In order to assess the situation on the ground, the political actions underway and to discuss the next steps in order to strengthen the European response, the Luxembourg Minister for Immigration and Asylum Jean Asselborn decided to convene an extraordinary JHA (justice and home affairs) Council,” said the statement.

The call for a meeting of the EU’s 28 member states follows a joint call for the talks by Germany, France and Britain earlier in the day.

Collective ills multiplied on 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.

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.

On Sunday, another boat carrying migrants sank off Libya’s Mediterranean coast, killing at least seven people, the second such fatal accident within days. “We had reports this morning that there are seven bodies of illegal migrants that sank off Khoms (east of Tripoli)...but we don’t have any details how many migrants were on board,” said Mohamad al-Misrati, a spokesman for the Red Crescent in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, 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 motorway. Three children saved from another vehicle meanwhile left hospital. Decrying the Austrian tragedy, Pope Francis called for effective cooperation to avoid such “crimes that are an offence to the whole of humanity.”

He said he joined the Austrian church in prayer for the victims. “I entrust each of them to the mercy of god,” the Pope said. — Agencies

Such crimes are an offence

to the whole of humanity

— Pope Francis

Recommended for you