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EU chooses self-interest over compassion for refugees

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"Miserable" was the word German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer used to describe the current situation for migrants fleeing to Europe from Libya. It's a reference to "refugee bingo," cynical jargon for the game the European Union plays whenever a private rescue ship saves dozens of migrants on the Mediterranean Sea and brings them to Italian shores. The EU commissioner for migration gets on the phone with interior ministers from around the bloc, cajoling them to take a handful of people. Then the merciless haggling begins.

The process has become a rallying cry for Italy's far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who has achieved domestic political success by stoking anti-refugee sentiment and presenting himself as the unyielding protector of Italian interests. Close the ports, deter the migrants, problem solved — that's Salvini's populist recipe.

Read more: Refugees sent to Libya under EU deal face 'catastrophic'........

© Deutsche Welle