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European Union leaders unveil new plan to lock out refugees

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Issue 2611
Anti-racists protesting to defend refugees
Anti-racists protesting to defend refugees (Pic: Socialist Worker)

The European Union (EU) told rescue boats to let refugees drown in the Mediterranean last week.

A communique from an EU rulers’ summit said that ships run by NGOs should leave rescues to the Libyan coastguard.

It came after 220 refugees fleeing war and poverty died off the North African coast.

The charity Doctors Without Borders said the EU’s rulers were “deliberately condemning vulnerable people to be trapped in Libya or die at sea”.

The EU summit agreed plans to set up internment camps in North Africa after Italy’s racist government threatened to pull out from the talks.

Italy stopped rescue ship Aquarius from docking last month and has refused to take in any more refugees.

Racist interior minister Matteo Salvini has threatened to deport 500,000 migrants and wants to draw up a census of Roma people.

He looks to racist allies in the Austrian and Hungarian governments to push for a crackdown on migrants and refugees.

The plan for internment camps was drawn up between French president Emmanuel Macron and the Italian prime minister.

The division among EU rulers is over how to crack down on refugees.

The likes of Salvini want internal borders to stop the flow of migrants. The EU and German chancellor Angela Merkel want to beef up external borders.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras met with Theresa May in London ahead of the talks to discuss how to stop refugees entering Greece.

May promised to help Greece comply with a deal between the EU and Turkey, which has thousands of refugees locked in camps on Greek islands.

Her promise included an extra British Border Force ship to patrol the Aegean sea to stop refugees from reaching Greece.

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