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Following the death of more than 50 people in the Mediterranean, S&D Group vice-presidents Elena Valenciano and Tanja Fajon, said:

“We deeply regret the appalling loss of lives off the Tunisian coast yesterday. This is just the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean, with people dying trying to reach a better life in Europe. At least 50 people died and dozens more are still missing in one of the worst boat accidents in years.

“We are extremely concerned as this new tragedy shows two worrying trends: the rise of departures from Tunisia, heightened by the situation in Libya, and the rise in the number of Tunisians themselves having to leave a crisis-torn country.

“On the same day, the new Interior Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, made public statements that prove he aims to make his extreme-right anti-immigration and populist discourse the new normality.

“The EU must not allow this to happen. The EU of solidarity, the one that respects human dignity, cannot turn into an EU of selfishness and xenophobia.

“Tomorrow the justice and home affairs Council will gather EU ministers to discuss the application of the principles of responsibility and solidarity and the long-overdue reform of the common European asylum system.

“There is no time to lose. We cannot let ourselves be overrun by this wave of populism and xenophobia. The Council must uphold our most fundamental values and take action before our Union ceases to exist as we know it.”

MEPs involved

FAJON Tanja

Head of delegation
Member
Slovenia

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