Europe is ‘underestimating’ scale of migrant crisis and could be flooded by millions of Africans in ‘biblical exodus’ unless urgent action is taken says top official

Saturday, July 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

Antonio Tajani said the severity of the migrant crisis is being underestimated
European Parliament president called on urgent action to confront problem
Comes as Italy grapples with increasing flow of people arriving from the sea

By RORY TINGLE
DailyMail.com
8 July 2017

The number of migrants crossing into Europe from Africa will be in the millions within five years unless urgent action is taken, a senior EU official has warned.

Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, has said the scale and severity of the migrant crisis is being underestimated and must be tackled urgently.

In an interview with Il Messagero newspaper, Mr Tajani said there would be an exodus ‘of biblical proportions that would be impossible to stop if we don’t confront the problem now’.

‘Population growth, climate change, desertification, wars, famine in Somalia and Sudan. These are the factors that are forcing people to leave.

‘When people lose hope, they risk crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean because it is worse to stay at home, where they run enormous risks. If we don’t confront this soon, we will find ourselves with millions of people on our doorstep within five years.

‘Today we are trying to solve a problem of a few thousand people, but we need to have a strategy for millions of people.’

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, the head of the ruling Democratic Party, said yesterday Italy should allow only a ‘fixed number’ of migrants into the country as it grapples with a wave of people arriving by sea from North Africa.

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