Yesterday I told you that the Italian government refused entry to a so-called “rescue ship” that had picked up over 600, mostly African illegal aliens, from waters off Libya.
These transport ships have had free passage to Italy for years, but all that is ending now that the Italians have elected a government willing to save Italy for Italians!
The island nation of Malta (an EU country) also refused the ship and its cargo.
Know that Malta has a sweet deal with the US State Department where we have been taking hundreds of their rejected ‘refugees’ to the US in a possibly illegal arrangement without any explanation about why their overflow is our problem. See my Malta archive which goes back ten years by clicking here.
Here is the news with its usual Leftward spin from NPR (Italian nationalists bad, Spanish socialists good).
Italy And Malta Close Their Ports To Migrant Rescue Ship; Spain Takes It In
A rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants will be allowed to enter the Spanish port of Valencia, after it was turned away from ports in Italy and Malta.
The ship Aquarius rescued 629 people in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday, “including 123 unaccompanied minors [likely all in their late teens or 20s!—ed], 11 other children and seven pregnant women,” Reuters reports.
The ship was left stranded at sea over the weekend after it was denied access to the Italian and Maltese ports.
Italy, which has a new, anti-immigration government, suggested that Malta take in the migrants. Malta objected, saying that it had been Italian authorities who coordinated the rescue to begin with, The Associated Press writes.
The U.N. refugee agency said Monday that there was “an urgent humanitarian imperative” to act, calling on governments to accept the distressed migrants now and resolve “broader issues” later.
Spain answered the call, opening the port of Valencia to the vessel, Lucia Benavides reports for NPR from Barcelona. But AP notes that “it wasn’t immediately clear if such a voyage was feasible given the distances involved — the ship is now more than 1,400 kilometers (over 750 nautical miles) from Valencia.”
The number of migrants arriving in Spain has been on the rise, Benavides reports, while the number of sea arrivals in Italy “has dropped 77 percent compared to this time last year, following controversial deals with the Libyan Coast Guard and investigations into NGO search-and-rescues.”
Italy’s government is led by two populist parties tied together, in part, by hostility toward migrants and a desire for a tougher stance on immigration.
A little more than a week ago, Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, told a crowd that “Italy and Sicily cannot be Europe’s refugee camp” and “the good times for illegals are over,” Deutsche Welle reports.
Closing Italy’s ports to Aquarius represented the first test of the populist government’s rhetoric, and Italy stood firm, despite outcry from the European Union and the U.N.
Spain, which announced Monday that it would accept the ship, is also led by a brand-new government, after a no-confidence vote in the former prime minister put the Socialists in power on June 1.
The new prime minister said Spain was welcoming the Aquarius out of the “duty to avoid a humanitarian disaster,” the AP reports.