European newspapers call for refugee action
Thirteen of Europe's leading left-leaning newspapers on Thursday published an open letter urging European governments to "take decisive action" to deal with the refugee crisis.
Editors from papers including Britain's Independent, Germany's Die Zeit, France's Liberation, La Repubblica from Italy and Spain's El Pais called on Europe to overcome its "troubled past" and show it is a "continent built on the principles of solidarity, equality and liberty."
Their six policies to help relieve the crisis included establishing safe ways for refugees to seek asylum in Europe, funding a reception system in countries on Europe's borders and suspending the Dublin agreement which requires asylum-seekers to register at their first point of entry.
The letter also backed a "fairer distribution" of refugees among EU member states, an increase in aid to Middle Eastern nations affected by the Syrian conflict and increased pressure on other countries, such as Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States, to try and bring an end to the war.
"More and more are dying in their desperate attempts to flee war and persecution," said the letter.
"Yet with each passing month Europe has done too little, too late. We are experiencing a refugee catastrophe, but unwillingness to act has also unveiled a serious political crisis.
"Our leaders must show courage and insight if they are not to fail this test of our shared European civilisation. We need to act, and we need to act now," it added.
© 2015 AFP