Barroso, Letta Heckled in Lampedusa, Called ‘Killers’

World | October 9, 2013, Wednesday // 15:04|  views

Barroso and Letta were welcomed with shouts of "disgrace" and "killers" as they arrived in Lampedusa. Photo by BBC

Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso were heckled on their arrival in Lampedusa and slammed as "killers".

The two men were welcomed with shouts of "disgrace" and "killers".

At least 274 people - mostly from Eritrea and Somalia - died after their boat capsized last Thursday about 1km (half a mile) from Lampedusa.

"They should be ashamed of themselves. They should solve this humanitarian problem," a member of the group of activists and locals, who confronted the top politicians, said.

A boat packed with around 500 Eritrean and Somali migrants capsized and sank near Lampedusa on Thursday after its captain set fire to a T-shirt to signal distress to coast guards, sparking panic on board.

Lampedusa, not far from Sicily and the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries.

As recovery teams continue to fill trucks with the bodies they're still pulling from the sea, there is harsh criticism that the Italian coast guard was too slow to respond.

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Tags: Italian, European Union, Lampedusa, boat, tragedy, Italy, refugees, enrico letta, Jose Manuel Barroso


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