Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Italy bans more migrant ships from docking in its ports

Massive Mediterranean rescue mission More than 1,200 saved in TEN hours EXPRESS
Jay Anderson | 20 June, 2018, 01:09

Their arrival marked an end to a more than 800-mile journey that began off the coast of Libya where the migrants were rescued by the ship Aquarius. In practice, the policy has placed a heavy burden on Italy and Greece, where hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers have arrived in recent years.

"No human being is "illegal"," added Sy. I took the decision that they can not come in because it was not our responsibility.

Spain's maritime rescue service says it has rescued around 270 migrants and recovered three bodies from more than 30 boats trying to cross from Africa by sea.

Salvini, who is also leader of the right-wing League and deputy prime minister, posted remarks on Facebook and Twitter in an escalating row with NGOs as one ship, the Aquarius, headed to Spain after being banned from Italian ports.

Aquarius docked in the port of Valencia in south eastern Spain.

That ship, the Aquarius, and two accompanying Italian ships are now expected to dock Sunday morning in Spain, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Doctors Without Borders told CNN.

Immigration will be a top issue at the European Union leaders' June 28-29 summit - and a new populist government from Italy - one whose interior minister has vowed to deport tens of thousands of migrants as soon as he can - will make any compromise on migration policy even more hard.

In his speech, Francis lamented how many people in the world are excluded from work because of war or environmental degradation and said that those living comfortable lives should seek to help them.




France was particularly critical, with President Emmanuel Macron accusing the Italians of "cynicism and irresponsibility", prompting Salvini to respond that "saving lives is a duty, turning Italy into a huge refugee camp is not" and suggesting France could take the Aquarius passengers. That allowed Sanchez, a socialist, to offer migrant-friendly policies to voters who felt previous governments did not do enough.

The Reuters report said there were 106 migrants on the vessel as two ships from Italy's navy and coast guard shared the passenger load, in order the make the significantly longer journey more safe, while the BBC report said Italian coast guard ship, the Dattilo, had entered Valencia's port.

The 630 migrants had been rescued by the Aquarius last weekend off the coast of Libya, but Italy and Malta refused to let their ship into port.

More than 120 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women are among those who have spent days crossing the western Mediterranean, according to officials in Valencia.

Malta refused to take the boat, saying it had nothing to do with the rescue, which was coordinated by Italy's coast guard.

Two days later, Spain stepped in and offered to grant the migrants entry at Valencia, some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away.

The Spanish government said in a statement Saturday that France will accept migrants who wish to go there and who meet the country's criteria for asylum once they have been processed in Valencia.

Charities say the NGO boats are a vital lifeline, rescuing more than 88,000 people in the past two years, but critics say they are a pull factor, encouraging people to make the risky sea journey. Under current EU rules, they have to seek asylum in the first European country they arrive in.

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