Germany grants shelter to 32 survivors from migrant shipwreck off Italy’s coast
The survivors – who are 28 Afghans, two Syrians, one Iraqi and one Somali - will join relatives already living in Germany. The Italian government, which is facing a surge in migrants from North Africa, has urged other countries that are part of the European Union to take in more asylum seekers
Rome: Germany has granted shelter to 32 of the survivors from last month’s migrant shipwreck off the southern coast of Italy, Italian and United Nations authorities said on Saturday.
Over 90 migrants travelling in a rickety boat died on February 26 near Cutro, in the Calabria region, in one of the deadliest shipwrecks in Italian territorial waters.
Nearly 80 people survived, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told parliament on March 7.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) helped organise a charter flight for 32 of the survivors to Hamburg, a Calabria provincial government office said in a statement. “IOM is happy to have supported the relocation under the EU voluntary solidarity mechanism,” the IOM said in a statement on Twitter.
The survivors – who were 28 Afghans, two Syrians, one Iraqi and one Somali – will join relatives already living in Germany.
An IOM spokesman said they would later be able to apply for asylum.
The Italian government, which is facing a surge in sea arrivals from North Africa, has repeatedly urged other countries that are part of the European Union to take in more migrants. Italian authorities have also faced accusations, which they strongly deny, that they did not do enough to stop the migrant shipwreck.
Police boats tried to intercept the boat before it sank, but failed to reach it due to rough weather, according to reports. Italian opposition parties have asked why coast guard vessels, better equipped to face high seas, were not deployed instead of smaller police boats.
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