EU announces $51m in funds to help Italy refugees
LAMPEDUSA, Italy (AP) - The head of the European Commission has announced during a visit to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa that Italy will receive an additional 30 million euros (S$51 million) in EU funds to help settle refugees, after the sinking of a migrant boat killed at least 275 people.
Mr Jose Manuel Barroso also pledged to work "tirelessly" for an European Union-wide asylum policy and to beef up the Frontex border patrol agency to prevent similar tragedies.
He visited Lampedusa with Premier Enrico Letta, who announced that the victims of the sinking would receive a state funeral.
Some islanders shouted "Shame!" as they arrived. Lampedusans have long complained that they have been forgotten by Italy and the EU and left to cope alone with the thousands of migrants who come ashore each year.