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European Commission - Statement

Statement by Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on the smuggling of migrants in cargo ships

Brussels, 02 January 2015

With regard to the recent events of the smuggling of migrants in the Ezadeen and Blue Sky M cargo ships to Italy, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, made the following statement: 

“I commend the Italian Coast Guard and Frontex who, in the framework of the joint operation Triton, have saved hundreds of migrants in distress. These events underscore the need for decisive and coordinated EU-wide action. Smugglers are finding new routes to Europe and are employing new methods in order to exploit desperate people who are trying to escape conflict and war.

Therefore, we need to take action against these ruthless, criminal organisations. We must not allow smugglers to put at risk people’s lives in old, abandoned ships in dangerous weather. Needless to say, the fight against smuggling will be a top priority in the ‘comprehensive approach to migration’, a plan to be presented in due course. We will move forward with commitment and resolve.”


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