Italy will hold a state funeral for the hundreds of migrants who died after their boat capsized off the island of Lampedusa last week. Prime Minister Enrico Letta made the announcement during a visit to the island with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Mr Barroso pledged 30m euros ($40m) of EU funds to help refugees in Italy .
The two men were heckled on their arrival in Lampedusa, with shouts of “disgrace” and “killers”. At least 274 people – mostly from Eritrea and Somalia – died after their boat capsized last Thursday about 1km (half a mile) from Lampedusa.
It is one of Italy’s worst disasters involving a boat carrying migrants who want to leave Africa and head to Europe. Lampedusa is a key destination for such boats and many residents have long complained that the authorities in Italy and the European Union are not doing enough to deal with the thousands of migrants who come ashore each year.