Hollande urges Europe to 'go further' in tackling migrant crisis

21st April 2015, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called for Europe "to go much further" in tackling the migrant crisis after a series of deadly disasters in the Mediterranean.

"The European summit on Thursday cannot be an ordinary summit where we take ordinary decisions," Hollande said ahead of the urgent meeting called after the latest migrant shipwreck saw 800 people drown in the Mediterranean.

"We must go much further... and I call on all Europeans and beyond to tackle these questions which have become intolerable on a humanitarian level and intolerable on a political level," he said.

Hollande repeated calls for more maritime and aerial surveillance over the Mediterranean.

"But that won't be enough," he said, saying the roots of the problem causing thousands of migrants to flock to Europe must also be dealt with.

He joined other European and African leaders in highlighting the chaos in Libya as a key problem, providing fertile ground for people smugglers to ship migrants from all over the continent to Europe.

"There are also countries which have been abandoned. I think of Eritrea, with more and more refugees. I also think of what is happening in the Sahel" where the French army is fighting jihadists spread across the vast belt separating northern and sub-Saharan Africa.

"Then we must fight terrorism, you must know that those who carry out trafficking, who put people on lousy boats... are terrorists.

"By fighting these traffickers, we fight terrorism and by fighting terrorism we will fight these traffickers. Because they are making money off the back of misery, from distress, from death," Hollande said.

© 2015 AFP

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