Italy says six EU states will take in migrants on Open Arms ship

refROME — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday that six EU countries had agreed to take in some 150 migrants who have been blocked from docking in Italy, resolving the latest standoff over immigration to Europe across the Mediterranean//AIWA! NO!//

The migrants have been stranded on the Spanish charity ship Open Arms since it picked them up off Libya in early August, and Rome’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refused to allow them to disembark.

"With insufficient fuel, no life jackets or other safety features, and often with no means to call for help, such as a satellite phone, these boats have virtually no chance of reaching European coasts by themselves and they are in need of rescue from the moment they depart," the report states. It added that in the first half of 2017, 73,000 refugees and migrants reached Italy by sea, 14 per cent more than in the same period the previous year. It is estimated that by the end of June, 2,0030 people had died or gone missing when making the crossing. The organisation warned that at this rate, 2017 could be the deadliest year for migrants in the Mediterranean.
Migrants try to stay afloat after falling off their rubber dinghy during a rescue operation by Moas off the coast of Zawiya in Libya ( Reuters )

Conte said in an open letter to Salvini that the migrants would be shared out among France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg.

 

©Reuters

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