Maritime rescue services in Spanish waters have rescued three migrants who were floating on a deflated rubber boat that is thought to have sailed from Morocco with 52 people on board.
Spain has been searching for the boat since Sunday. On Tuesday, three men from various sub-Saharan countries were rescued near Alboran, a western Mediterranean island located between Spain and Morocco.
According to the survivors they had been floating about adrift for days. The Spanish Maritime rescue services continue searching for the rest of 49 people believed to be on the boat.
According to aid agencies, at least 2,169 migrants have died trying to get to Europe from Africa, this year alone.
Looking for solutions
Italy is under intense pressure having to take in and process migrants escaping through Libya. European Union executive is pushing to alleviate pressure on Italy. The commission is said to send about $90 million to Italy and Libya for projects to slow down the streams of migrants making the dangerous journey.
85,183 migrants have reached Italian shores this year alone, compared to last years’ 71,279. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says “the urgency of the situation now requires us to seriously accelerate our collective work and not leave Italy on its own.”
He urges the other members of the EU to add funds to the EU-Africa fund.
Rene Pollitzer, Austria’s ambassador to Italy, consulted with the Italian foreign ministry and has informed them that the Austrian government is making preparations to protect its border from the overflow of migrants making their way through Italy and spreading through Europe.
The ministry said Tuesday that it made the diplomatic move “following the declarations of the Austrian government about the lining up of troops at the Brenner Pass.”
The Brenner Pass is one of the most used routes that connect Italy with the rest of Northern Europe. Due to the same complaints last year, Austria threatened to build a wall disconnecting Italian and Austrian borders.
Promotion for Peace
Pope Francis encouraged the new EU-financed initiatives and is glad that the union is taking this step as it would open up opportunities for dialogue and peace talks.
He showed his appreciation to Italian news agency ANSA, which is partnered with France’s Medias Monde and Germany’s Deutsche Welle, who are running the project infomigrants.net – a portal of information for migrants so they can “counter misinformation at every point of their journey,” such as getting conned by smugglers.
The information is available in French, Arabic and English; the three main languages spoken in the migrant’s homelands.
Pope Francis goes on to say that he’s proud of their initiative and that Europe has “wisely open[ed] themselves to the complex migration phenomenon.”
He hopes this will lead to “a renewed commitment for an authentic culture of welcome and solidarity.”