Frontex Can’t Take Over Migrant Rescue Operation, Italy Told

The European border agency Frontex has rejected Italy’s call for it to take over the Mare Nostrum, an operation to rescue boat migrants in the Mediterranean.

Mare Nostrum, an operation to rescue boat migrants in the Mediterranean

Frontex spokeswoman Ewa Moncure told Tagesspiegel that the agency didn’t have enough resources to take over the operation.

The Italian government set up the Mare Nostrum in October 2013 following the tragic shipwrecks where over 600 people died.

The operation costs the government about nine million Euros a month.

Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano recently said Italy would not be able to bear the costs of the operation beyond October.

He even warned that Italian government would make important decisions should the EU fail to take over the operation.

European Commission spokesperson Antony Gravili urged the EU Member States to do more to help Italy cope with a huge migrant influx.

While appreciating the magnificent job Italy has done, Mr Gravili told Tagesspiegel that the country had received unprecedented aid. He revealed that Italy received 500 million Euros in the period 2007-2013. He further revealed that the country will receive 315 million Euros in the period 2014-2020.

Mr Gravili said they have repeatedly been asking the Member States to do more by contributing funds and resources.

Reacting to Mr Gravili’s remarks, Mr Alfano said it was the Commission’s duty to consistently ask the Member States to contribute towards the Mare Nostrum operation.

Should Frontex fail to take over the Mare Nostrum due to lack of funds, it would be impossible for Italy to carry it forward for another year, Mr Alfano said.

– Africa News