Italy left to drift at sea a ship with 450 migrants

Cheryl Sanders
July 16, 2018

Eight migrants needed medical assistance and were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa for treatment.

"Even Spain and Portugal will take 50 migrants each, as France, Germany and Malta have already done", Conte said in a tweet.

Salvini has led a high-profile campaign to shut humanitarian rescue ships out of Italy's ports, a move supported by 5-Star.

And Libya restated its refusal to take in anyone rescued from the ship.

On Sunday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis refused to take part in the shared responsibility initiative, saying the new proposals were "a road to hell".

"Italy is no longer willing to take on, alone, a problem that affects all European countries", the source said. The same intransigence is being experienced by the Italian government.

Last month, the French rescue ship Aquarius and the German boat Lifeline, who between them were carrying hundreds of migrants, were forced to divert to Spain and Malta respectively after Italy turned them away.

"This is the solidarity and responsibility that we have always sought from Europe", the premier said on Facebook.

"Let's continue on this path with firmness and respect for human rights".

In just one month in office, Salvini has upended years of Italian policy toward migrants by refusing them entry. "We've done more than anyone else (to take in sea borne migrants)". Since their home countries often don't facilitate repatriation, Italy has been left to shelter many of them, although thousands have slipped out of Italy to seek work or relatives in northern Europe.

Baby food, milk and juice were among the provisions being delivered Sunday so the people aboard will have necessities for another 24 hours.

Italy's new populist government, which includes the anti-migrants League party, is leading a crusade against migrant arrivals and foreign ships that rescue them in the Mediterranean.

Salvini said either someone should be charged for threatening the crew of the Italian supply ship, or the captain lied about tensions on board to convince the coast guard to intervene, in which case his company "must pay", he said.

According to Italian media, Vos Thalassa's crew locked themselves in the control room and called for help after two migrants with mobile phones and Global Positioning System realised that the boat was heading back towards Libya, and threatened them.

Sky TG24 TV reported that numerous rescued passengers originally are from Eritrea. The Eritrean husband of a pregnant woman who was experiencing abdominal pain was one of the few men allowed off, Italian state TV said.

According to European Union figures, Germany saw nearly 1 million asylum applications in 2016 and 2017; Italy came second with about 250,000. Italy came in second with about 250,000.

This week 500 Libyan migrants have arrived in Europe.

"On Sunday, 57 women, children and other vulnerable people were evacuated, while the remaining 393 were allowed ashore early on Monday", the ANSA news agency said.

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