Archbishop urges EU solidarity with migrants

Palermo, Feb 10 (IANS/AKI) Palermo’s archbishop on Thursday called on the European Union (EU) not to turn its back on the drama of migration, less than a week after the bloc agreed a plan with Libya to stop the people-smuggling boats setting sail.

“As people flee war and death, we all need to stay aboard the raft of solidarity,” said Monsignor Corrado Lorefice.

“This is our only anchor of salvation,” he told a seminar on migration taking place in the Sicilian capital.

European Union leaders meeting in Malta last Friday agreed to a plan aimed at stemming the influx of migrants to Italy from Libya, including 200 million euros ($213 million) to help strengthen its coastguard.

But Lorefice urged Italy and other EU nations “to create a culture of welcome” rather than creating “barriers and walls”.

“Europe should pride it self on this and not fall prey to fear,” he said.