EU authorises use of force against migrant traffickers

(AGI) Rome, Sept 14 - The European Union on Monday approved theuse of military force against human traffickers in theMediterranean. The authorisation is expected to apply to itsnaval missions as of October, meaning EU vessels will be ableto stop, search, and redirect ships suspected of carryingmigrants. EU interior ministers also reached an agreement onhow to distribute 160,000 migrants over two years through twoplans. Germany's Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, saidthe first plan for 120,000 people will be finalised at the nextEuropean Council meeting on October 8, while a plan for 40,000

(AGI) Rome, Sept 14 - The European Union on Monday approved theuse of military force against human traffickers in theMediterranean. The authorisation is expected to apply to itsnaval missions as of October, meaning EU vessels will be ableto stop, search, and redirect ships suspected of carryingmigrants. EU interior ministers also reached an agreement onhow to distribute 160,000 migrants over two years through twoplans. Germany's Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, saidthe first plan for 120,000 people will be finalised at the nextEuropean Council meeting on October 8, while a plan for 40,000asylum seekers who landed in Italy and Greece was alreadyconcluded on Monday. The program will cover migrants with aclear need for international protection who arrived or willarrive in Greece or Italy between August 15 this year andSeptember 16 in 2017. A total of 24,000 migrants will beredistributed to other EU member states, and 16,000 fromGreece. Nations participating in the distribution mechanismwill receive 6,000 euros for each re-situated migrant. Italy'sInterior Minister, Angelino Alfano, said that by summing thetwo plans together the government expects to redistribute40,000 migrants. "More than what any other government hasachieved for Italy," he noted. The 28 interior ministers onMonday also agreed on plans for "hotspots", which areidentification and registration centres. Italy is expected tobuild six centres, with the first one on Lampedusa island.Meanwhile, faced with the massive influx of migrants, numerousEU states have temporarily reintroduced border controls, ameasure permitted by the Schengen agreement in case ofemergency. On the same day, Pope Francis re-addressed thecrisis, defining it as "the tip of the iceberg" and a clearsign of an unjust socioeconomic system where 17 percent of theworld's population owns 80 percent of the global wealth. (AGI). .