Italy refuses to allow entry of migrants rescued by NGO vessels

The Italian authorities have again expressed their refusal to allow the entry of migrants rescued by vessels of various NGOs in the Mediterranean and have requested that it is precisely the countries whose flags these vessels fly that should take in the migrants in question.

“We cannot bring in migrants who are rescued at sea by foreign ships operating without any coordination with the authorities,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi has asserted, as reported by ‘Corriere della Sera’ newspaper.

Piantedosi has indicated that migrants arriving in the country after being rescued by these vessels account for 16 percent of the arrivals, although the government deals with the other 84 percent that reach Italian shores in boats that are assisted by the authorities. “Italy will not abandon its duty to rescue people at sea, but European solidarity has to become a reality,” he said.

Thus, he has called for greater “solidarity” on the part of Europe and has insisted that it is the countries whose flags carry these ships that accept these migrants now that about a thousand of them are on board the ships ‘Humanity 1’, ‘Geo Barents’ and ‘Ocean Viking’ waiting to reach a safe harbor near the Italian coast.