European leaders want to change the system for refugees trying to reach Europe. They are shocked by the Lampedusa tragedy. More than 250 people from Africa drowned after their boat sank. They were just a few hundred meters from the beach. Almost 20,000 asylum seekers have died in the Mediterranean Sea in the past ten years. After every boat sinks, European politicians call for change. However, after a little time, the talking stops and nothing happens. No one knows if the current disaster near Lampedusa will lead to action from European governments. One suggestion is more money for search and rescue operations that will cover all of the Mediterranean, "from Spain to Cyprus".
The answer to the problem of asylum seekers is very difficult. The perfect solution is for Europe to completely open its borders to anyone. However, no country in the world does this. It would be very unpopular in all European countries. Many countries in Europe already want to make their borders stronger to slow down the number of people coming in. Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano said: "[Italy is] in the middle of the Mediterranean and we have saved thousands and thousands of lives. We now ask for some help from Europe." He added: "The Mediterranean represents the Africa-Europe border, not the Africa-Italy border." He called for Europe to share the responsibility.