The Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, refuses to have a rescue ship with 49 migrants on board in Italy. As a result, there are again migrants rescued in the Mediterranean stuck at sea.
The NGO Mediterranea picked up the migrants, who were travelling in a rubber boat, about 78 kilometres off the Libyan coast on Monday.
“The migrants can be healed, fed and dressed and can receive all sorts of resources for their comfort, but as far as I am concerned, and with my permission, they will not set foot in Italy,” Salvini said to TV channel SkyTG24 on Tuesday.
The Mediterranea ship is currently off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The Italian accused the NGO of inciting “illegal migration” by stopping a rescue operation from the Libyan Coast Guard. The Libyan coastguard is said to have sent the migrants back to Libya.
The Salvini cabinet also instructed the police, the navy and the coastguard to do everything possible to stop the illegal arrival of migrants in Italy.