Spain fulfilled its commitments by accepting Aquarius migrant ship - deputy prime minister

Jun 15, 2018, 19:29
Spain fulfilled its commitments by accepting Aquarius migrant ship - deputy prime minister

"The French act superior but they have pushed back more than 10,000 people at the borders with Italy".

"Ships belonging to foreign organizations and flying foreign flags can not dictate Italy's immigration policy", Salvini, who also heads the anti-immigrant League party, said on Wednesday.

France said it has received no formal request from Italy for an apology, and that it believed the planned meeting between Macron and Conte would go ahead.

Pope Francis says that the Gospel teaches that it's wrong to leave migrants "at the mercy of the waves", an apparent critique of Italy's new migration policies.

In a statement Thursday, a Mediterranean rescue worker said numerous migrants on board the charity ship Aquarius became sea sick and were frightened as the ship battled large waves and strong winds.

Italy for years has complained that it has been left largely alone to manage Europe's migrant crisis, but the new government says its firm stance has finally gotten the point across.

The acrimony was so bad that Italy summoned the French ambassador and cancelled a meeting between the two countries' economy ministers.

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"These provisions and guarantees are time and again violated, as French officers put children immediately onto a regional train to Ventimiglia", the report said.

But Italy's foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, kept up the barrage by telling a French envoy that Macron's comments were "unjustifiable" and had compromised relations between the two countries.

The French government was more conciliatory Wednesday, when the Foreign Ministry said France recognized the burden Italy has carried.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hailed Wednesday an "axis of the willing" between the hardline interior ministers of Austria, Germany and Italy to combat illegal immigration into the EU.

An EU scheme to distribute migrants equitably around the bloc has failed.

Under EU rules, migrants must apply for asylum in the European nation where they first arrive.

The Aquarius has no showers or sinks for migrants on the ship, and the rescue workers rely on disinfectant spray to use for people's hands before their meals.

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More than 1.8 million migrants have entered Europe since 2014, and Italy is now sheltering more than 170,000 asylum seekers, as well as an estimated 500,000 unregistered migrants.

Salvini has repeatedly accused fellow European Union members of abandoning Italy as it struggles to cope with an influx of migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

France sought to take a more conciliatory tone on Wednesday.

He has accused charities of working with human traffickers but said Italy would not stop rescuing migrant boats itself.

The organisation said Thursday that the Italian coast guard vessel guiding the Aquarius ship had made a decision to divert the convoy north along the east coast of Sardinia to bypass four-metre (13-feet) high waves and winds of 35 knots (65 km/h).

But he stressed that "the reason why Italy said it had closed ports is something we need to listen to".

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