Italy wants rescues at sea to continue but needs EU, UN help

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Migrant children have clashed with locals outside a crowded transit centre in Sicily.

They had entered the country alone after being rescued at sea. Now they’re angry. After months with little progress on their fate, they feel abandoned.

Some Italian opposition MPs want to stop the search and rescue operations at sea which cost 300,000 euros per day but have saved thousands of lives.

The government opposes those calls.

Graziano Delrio, State Secretary to the Prime Minister said: “This operation is not something we are ashamed of. On the contrary, we are proud of it, as pointed out by the President of the Republic. It has allowed us to rescue more than 39,000 migrants.”

The search and rescue mission has been going on since more than three hundred men, women and children drowned off the coast of Lampedusa last year.

Italy wants the United Nations and the EU to help deal with the so-called migration problem. The issue will be one of the main discussion topics during Italy’s six-month EU presidency, which begins in July.

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