Europe's press urge action on migration crisis

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Image caption Portugal's Diario de Noticias: "'There is no excuse'. Europe develops a plan against sinking ships that kill a migrant every two hours"

Newspapers across Europe have urged decisive action following the announcement of a 10-point plan by EU foreign and interior ministers to tackle the Mediterranean migration crisis.

The plan will, among other measures, increase operations in the Mediterranean, seize and destroy vessels used by people smugglers, and instigate resettlement and return programmes for migrants.


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Image caption Italian paper La Republica: "Europe: war on the slave-traders"

The crisis dominates newspaper front pages and news websites in Italy.

"Europe: war on the slave-traders" reads the headline in La Repubblica. "Europe: destroy the boats" says the front page of Il Messaggero.

Commentators take the view that the EU's credibility is at stake. If Europe "does not show that it can react in an extraordinary way, it will be pointless lashing out at the europhobes, because the worst enemy of the Europe that we want will be itself," writes Pierluigi Battista in Corriere Della Sera.

"Ten points to enact without delay, with the determination that the emergency demands. The strength of the facts forces EU partners into firmness and co-responsibility," writes Paolo Graldi in Il Mattino.


Germany's papers are convinced that Europe must do more to tackle the migrant problem at source - by helping to stabilise the countries of origin.

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Image caption German paper Der Tagesspiegel: "Europe wants to tackle refugee problem"

Ernst Elitz in Bild wrote: "There is only one way to stop the refugee misery: A relentless fight against inhuman terrorism. Europe can no longer postpone this fight!"

Ulrich Clauss in Berlin's Die Welt said that "Europe's goals must be to stabilise order in the states of North Africa... The time when Europe was only concerned with itself is nearing its end."

Spain and Portugal

In an opinion piece in the Spanish daily El Pais, Roberto Saviano says that anyone who attempts to go beyond the numbers in the Mediterranean's "mass grave" to understand the human tragedy is automatically written off as a "do-gooder".

Similarly, in a piece titled "People like Us", Andre Macedo of Portugal's Diario de Noticias says the blame for this "Mediterranean cemetery" lies with the European Union. He accuses Brussels of shutting down Italy's ambitious search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean in favour of a less effective border protection programme.


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Image caption French La Figaro "What can Europe do faced with chaos in Libya?"

"Sea of civilization or marine cemetery?" asks French newspaper Le Monde. "Young men and entire families are fleeing poverty and war. They suffer extortion before reaching the coasts of the southern Mediterranean. They are prey to these modern slave drivers, the networks of criminal smugglers."

Johan Hufnagel writing in leading French left-leaning daily Liberation called for "a protective Europe, not a fortress Europe... since Sunday, words are no longer enough."


Greece's I Avgi newspaper says "Europe must be awakened by the recent tragedy", accusing the European Union of "moving at a snail's pace" in an editorial. Referring to the biblical story, I Avgi states: "The tactics of Pontus Pilate do not suit Europe."

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Image caption Greece's I Avgi: "The shipwreck of European values"

"It is obvious that a large-scale rescue operation should immediately be put forward," Nikos Konstantaras writes in I Kathimerini. "This concerns not only Italy and Greece, which accept most refugees, but the whole European Union and the international community."

Rest of Europe

Russian papers thought the crisis was of the West's own making. Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta was typical: "The measures that are being initiated so far look like an attempt to blame the tragedy on third countries that are in a state of chaos."

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Image caption Belgian De Standaard: "Europe wakes up as boats keep coming"
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Image caption Malta has one of the highest per capita refugee acceptance rates in the world

Writing in Turkey's Yeni Safak, Abdullah Muradoglu said that "the EU is in an effort to prevent poor Africans reaching their shores. The solution they found is to repulse them. Actually, they are telling them 'go back to the hell you are living in'."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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