- Do as us. It's the only thing that works.
That is the clear message from the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to the heads of EU's States and governments, after the weekend's tragedy in the Mediterranean, where according to the UN about 800 migrants lost their lives.
A year and a half ago, almost daily boats with hundreds of asylum seekers arrived to Australia's shores.
But Abbott's Conservative government shortly after taking the government offices changed the previous government's strategy and introduced an extensive patrolling of the waters north of the country.
Boats with migrants was forced to turn back. According to critics, including the United Nations, Australia's policy is inhumane.
- But the policy has worked and stopped the massive traffic of asylum seekers, says the Prime Minister.
- There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who are drowning in the attempt to reach Europe from Africa. The only way to stop these deaths is to stop the boats, says Tony Abbott according to AFP.
Since Australia began these operations, there are hardly any boats arriving to the country, and there have been no reports of any deaths among asylum seekers on the high seas.
- We must find solutions that can stop this terrible problem and it can only be done by putting an end to the smuggler business.
- It is therefore urgent that European countries adopt a more strict policy that will stop trafficker-journeys across the Mediterranean, says Abbott.
In practice, the Australian system is that Navy ships stops asylum seeker's boats and escort them back to their country of departure, which is typically Indonesia.
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