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TWENTY MILLION African migrants heading for Europe: European parliament president warns that a huge number will arrive in the ‘next few years’ unless action is taken
- Antonio Tajani said the EU needs to open asylum centres in Libya
- There are more than 30 centres in the country, run by smugglers or militias
- In January and February this year, 12,000 migrants arrived in Italy
By Fionn Hargreaves For Mailonline, 1 March 2017:
As many as twenty million African migrants could come to Europe in the near future, according to the new president of the European parliament.
Antonio Tajani said Europe needs to do more to help asylum seekers in order to quell migration.
He proposed the EU should open asylum centres in Libya in a bid to protect vulnerable refugees.
At the moment, detention centers in the country violate human rights, according to the EU.
Mr Tajani told Die Welt there are more than 30 centres that are run illegally by smugglers or by groups for the government.
The president said that EU reception centres would provide asylum seekers with access to healthcare and would not be ‘concentration camps’.
In 2017, there has been up to a 40 per cent increase in the number of migrants arriving in Italy.
Many of these people come from Africa.
So far, 12,000 people have travelled across the Mediterranean this year.
The news comes as the head of the EU border agency warned that organisations who rescue migrants from the Mediterranean are fuelling people smugglers.
The smugglers profit by illegally spiriting asylum seekers into Europe, often in dangerous conditions.
Fabrice Leggeri also told Die Welt that rescue missions by non-government organisations makes it more difficult to monitor migrants as they pass into Europe.
He also told the German newspaper, the lack of cooperation with organisations and security services makes it harder ‘to gain information on trafficking networks through interviews with migrants and to open police investigations’.
Mr Leggeri’s comments were rebuffed by Luise Amtsberg, a member of the German parliament.
The refugee expert said: ‘The number of dead would be much higher without the tireless commitment of non-governmental organisations.’