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Europe is ‘underestimating’ scale of migrant crisis, millions more coming

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They are underestimating the crisis because they cannot face what they are up against. Avoiding reality will be catastrophic.

This is an invasion by migration.

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

  • 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 For Mailonline, 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.

Mr Tajani's warning comes after a Paris shanty town containing some 2,500 migrants was pulled to the ground on Friday and its inhabitants 'evacuated' to other parts of France

Many were from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Eritrea who said they were desperate to get to Britain as quickly as possible

The mass operation, which involved riot police, unfolded soon after dawn as the mainly young men were forced out of the illegal settlement in the Porte de la Chapelle

‘There has to be a fixed number of arrivals. We should not feel guilty if we are not able to welcome everyone,’ Mr Renzi said in a video posted on his party’s website.

‘We have to save everyone, but we are not able to welcome everyone into Italy,’ he said.

Italy has been struggling to cope with a large number of migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, a journey that has so far claimed more than 2,200 lives this year, UN figures show.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the country has accepted around 85,000 of the 100,000 people who have arrived this year.

The massive numbers have also exacerbated tensions with neighbouring Austria, which this week threatened to send troops to its border with Italy to stop migrants entering.

His warning comes after a Paris shanty town containing some 2,500 migrants was pulled to the ground on Friday and its inhabitants ‘evacuated’ to other parts of France.

'We were woken up first thing and then told to line up before being moved out,' said Adam Jamshid, a 33-year-old originally from the Afghan city of Kandahar

‘We were woken up first thing and then told to line up before being moved out,’ said Adam Jamshid, a 33-year-old originally from the Afghan city of Kandahar

He added: 'There wasn't even time to pick up our belongings, and many people were split up. The police were very tough - like they always are'

Like many of the migrants, Mr Jamshid said he was taken to a local gym, where he would be able to spend a few nights

'There is no permanent place for us in France any more,' he said. 'This is one of the main reasons why we want to go to Britain, where we are treated like human beings'

Many were from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Eritrea who said they were desperate to get to Britain as quickly as possible.

The mass operation, which involved riot police, unfolded soon after dawn as the mainly young men were forced out of the illegal settlement in the Porte de la Chapelle.

It is situated in the north of the city, next to the railway lines where high-speed Eurostar trains travel to London.

‘We were woken up first thing and then told to line up before being moved out,’ said Adam Jamshid, a 33-year-old originally from the Afghan city of Kandahar.

The last group of migrants wait to be registered and evacuated after the evacuation of several makeshift camps around Porte de la Chapelle in Paris

An Afghani migrant searchs for items among the remains of a migrant makeshift camp under the Parisian ring road

‘There wasn’t even time to pick up our belongings, and many people were split up. The police were very tough – like they always are.’

Like many of the migrants, Mr Jamshid said he was taken to a local gym, where he would be able to spend a few nights.

‘There is no permanent place for us in France any more,’ he said. ‘This is one of the main reasons why we want to go to Britain, where we are treated like human beings.’

There is an official refugee camp in Porte de la Chapelle, but those living there can only stay for a fortnight.

Since its opening last year, it has become a magnet for thousands, who end up setting up alternative homes in the streets nearby.

Some 60 coaches were involved in Friday's operation, and according to Francois Ravier, of the local prefecture, 'at least 2500 migrants were involved'

'Experience shows that there are always more people than estimated, said Mr Ravier

Numbers in Paris have swelled since the destruction of the so-called 'Jungle' camp in Calais last year, when around 8000 migrants were dispersed

France's new President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to continue the zero tolerance policy to illegal camps enforced by his predecessors

Some 60 coaches were involved in Friday’s operation, and according to Francois Ravier, of the local prefecture, ‘at least 2500 migrants were involved.’

‘Experience shows that there are always more people than estimated, said Mr Ravier.

Numbers in Paris have swelled since the destruction of the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais last year, when around 8000 migrants were dispersed.

France’s new President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to continue the zero tolerance policy to illegal camps enforced by his predecessors.

Friday’s operation marked the 34th of its kind to take place in Paris over the last two years.

Paris council said it was justified because of security and hygiene concerns.

French police officers directed the migrants away from the camp as it was closed down on Friday morning 

A man looks away as he gathers with migrants and refugees in the streets during the evacuation

Europe’s migrant influx began in 2015, centering on Greece, where hundreds of thousands of people, many of them fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Afghanistan, crossed from Turkey.

The crisis receded in 2016 under an agreement with Turkey to clamp down on illegal border crossings.

However, it revived this year, focussing instead on sea crossings from Libya to Italy, mainly entailing people from sub-Saharan Africa.

On Thursday, EU interior ministers pledged to back a plan to help Italy, which has accepted around 85,000 people since the start of the year and says it is overwhelmed.

Tents were seen erected next to the side of the road to house the thousands of migrants 

Hundreds of police officers, including riot police, were involved in the operation on Friday morning 

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