Italy refuses to let refugees get off docked ship

Italy refuses to let refugees get off docked ship

Italy refuses to let refugees get off docked ship

After a long tug-of-war with Malta, which had taken over the coordination of the rescue without sending ships and denying availability to receive migrants on the island, the Italian government brought in the Guardia di Finanza and Coast Guard vessels to escort the fishing boat.

Another 450 migrants on board two Frontex vessels were stranded at sea on Saturday, July 14, as Italy and Malta locked horns over whose responsibility it was to offer them safe harbor.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte spent Saturday in contact with other European Union leaders, reminding them that they had agreed at their end-of-June summit on the need to share the migration burden.

There was no immediate confirmation from the French.

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France, as part of this ad hoc mechanism, has already taken 52 of the migrants which arrived, whilst Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Norway have also committed their participation to relocate a number of migrants to their respective countries.

During talks with prime minister Giuseppe Conte, he said: "We need an act of justice, of respect and of courage to fight against these human traffickers and generate a European intervention".

In an exchange of messages, emails and phone calls on Friday, Rome had pushed Valletta to take responsibility for those on board the wooden boat. Malta says the ship's crew made clear they were heading toward the Italian island of Lampedusa and eventually moved out of Maltese waters.

Dozens of migrants rescued at sea and brought to an Italian port on Thursday can not disembark, the country's far-right interior minister said, reversing a decision by a fellow minister and opening a rift within the government.

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President Sergio Mattarella has intervened to end a dispute within the ruling coalition over the fate of migrants on the Italian coast guard ship "Diciotti" who were refused permission to disembark by the Interior Minister.

Eight women and children on board the migrant ship were taken to Lampedusa for medical treatment.

Salvini, who is also the head of far-right League and a prominent member of the new Italian government, is leading a high-profile campaign to exclude humanitarian rescue ships from Italian ports.

Image: The Lifeline was carrying more than 230 migrants when it was diverted to Spain.

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Italy, Greece and Spain have been on the front line of the migrant crisis, with Europe deeply divided over how to share the burden of the massive influx of people seeking a new life in Europe.

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