As many as 900 people were feared dead yesterday after an overpacked boat carrying migrants capsized near the Libyan Coast. A survivor of the disaster estimated that there were 950 people on the boat.
Since then, new distress calls have been received, and the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has stated he is working with Malta to rescue at least two further boats in distress. One of the vessels was a dinghy off the Libyan coast with about 150 people on board whilst the other a larger boat carrying 300 people.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that to date, 1,600 refugees have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year and it is believed 3,500 died last year. UNHCR estimated 35,000 migrants have arrived from North Africa this year.
The EU held emergency talks to discuss the issue, and the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini demanded immediate action. Federica Mogherini stated:
With this latest tragedy, we have no more excuses, the EU has no more excuses, the member states have no more excuses. The main issue here is to build a common sense of European responsibility, knowing that there is no easy solution.
The EU has been criticised as it terminated rescue operations last year, due to worries over the cost, and the belief it was encouraging migrants.
David Cameron described the incident as a ‘dark day for Europe’ and stressed the need to go after traffickers who are exploiting those in search of a better life. Smugglers can charge up to $10,000 per person.
And as always, Katie Hopkins had a lot to say on the matter, and she was apathetic as usual.
Speaking to LBC she stated:
I, for one, believe we should turn back the boats… Personally I would use gunships, I would tow them back to where they came from, and I would make a huge bonfire of all the boats they have – in order that we put a stop to this ridiculous situation that we find ourselves in.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, she went on to state in her Sun column:
Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors.
Thankfully a petition has been created to get her column removed, and stop her earning money from her outrageous apathetic statements. Check it out and sign it here.