Italy’s rejection of migrant ship ‘shameful’ - United Nations envoy

Daniel Fowler
June 14, 2018

"We have nothing to learn about generosity, voluntarism, welcoming, and solidarity from anyone", Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told the Senate.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S) that makes up Italy's new government alongside the League, minister of labour and, with Salvini, joint deputy prime minister, said that it was "embarrassing" that France "preached to us" as Italy is asking its European partners to share duties with Italy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has drawn criticism from her own conservative party for her open-door migrant policy, adopted in 2015, which also provoked a rise in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Spain stepped up and offered the Aquarius safe harbour in Valencia after Italy and Malta both refused.

Many states have fallen short of their pledge, made in 2015, to take some asylum seekers from Italy and Greece - the first port of call for most migrants given their long Mediterranean coastlines - and share the cost of their care.

A migrant receives clothes from a staff member on the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres on their way to Spain, June 13, 2018.

Salvini has accused European aid groups of essentially operating taxi services for Libya-based human traffickers, and has said Italy will now refuse them entry.

An Italian coast guard vessel has docked in Sicily with more than 900 migrants aboard, evidence that Italy's new anti-migrant government is still taking in some asylum-seekers but is forcing the rest of Europe to accept others.

Farrah Abraham Arrested for Striking Beverly Hills Hotel Staffer
She later denied her part in anything that went down in the hotel, saying, "I did not attack, or batter, or hurt or injure". In 2013, she was arrested in Omaha, Nebraska after police allegedly saw her swerving on the road.

Crew aboard the Diciotti began disembarking passengers in Catania's port early Wednesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron had blasted what he called Italy's cynicism and irresponsibility in turning away the Aquarius, which is operated by the humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee and the French-founded Doctors Without Borders.

Macron's office said Tuesday that France doesn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach global laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

In his speech, Salvini shot back and said France had turned back 10,249 migrants at Italy's northern border since January "including women, children and disabled people".

A boat full of migrants trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean sea.

Macron's office said Tuesday that France doesn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach global laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

Yet Slovakia's premier insisted that "we refuse to let migrants enter our country", a stance that could bring him into conflict with Italy's new leaders, who have called for the automatic, compulsory resettlement of migrants across all European Union countries.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER