Italy's Matteo Salvini shuts port to 629 rescued migrants
Italy's Matteo Salvini shuts port to 629 rescued migrants
Italy turns away ship carrying over 600 migrants
11 June, 2018, 15:25
"Saving lives at sea is a duty, but transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not", Salvini said on Facebook on Monday.
In a statement late on Sunday, the government said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, had a telephone conversation on the developing situation of the vessel Acquarius.
In a statement it said the Aquarius took on the migrants in worldwide waters off Libya and rescue operations were coordinated by Italy.
Despite the claim by Mayor Orlando that the government stands in opposition to worldwide law by closing the ports to migrant smuggling operations, a distinguished expert on global maritime law Admiral Paolo Caffio has given his verdict, stating that not only is it legal, but there is also precedent, reportsIl Giornale.
As the rhetoric intensified, the Aquarius remained on standby in the Mediterranean Sea with its 629 passengers, including 123 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women.
"From today, Italy will also start to say no to human trafficking, no to the business of illegal immigration".
Salvini pointed to Malta's unwillingness in accusing Europe as a whole of leaving Italy on its own to deal with the refugee crisis.
Salvini and Italian Transportation Minister Danilo Toninelli, who is part of the 5-Star Movement faction in the new government, said in a joint statement Sunday that it was Malta's responsibility to "open its ports for the hundreds of the rescued on the NGO ship Aquarius".
His second says, "Malta is in full conformity with worldwide obligations and will not take the vessel in its ports". In practical terms, no ships of this type will be able to land without cooperation of the Italian coastguard, which is under the direct command of the Italian government.
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