Migrants wait at a train station in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, April 22, 2015. Picture taken April 22. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
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Four days after up to 900 desperate people drowned trying to reach Europe from Libya, EU leaders agreed Thursday to triple its naval search mission in the Mediterranean, restoring its funding to last year's level.Critics called it a face-saving operation that did not go far enough to emulate an Italian rescue mission abandoned six months ago for want of EU support. And divisions remained over longer-term proposals, ranging from dealing with people smugglers and African migrant camps to how to redistribute asylum-seekers around 28 nations where anti-immigrant parties are on the rise. Italy warned that, after nearly 2,000 deaths so far this year out of nearly 40,000 people making the crossing, a summer season was starting that could push total arrivals on its shores for 2015 to 200,000, an increase of 30,000 over last year.Even as the leaders gathered, the Italian coast guard picked up 84 men, all apparently sub-Saharan Africans, from a sinking rubber boat 35 miles off Libya after receiving a distress call.
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