Ocean Viking: Italy allows migrants to disembark

Ocean Viking: Italy allows migrants to disembark

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Media caption Most of the migrants will be relocated to other EU nations

Eighty-two migrants have actually disembarked on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa after 6 days at sea.

Italy states it is enabling the ship, the Ocean Viking, to offload the migrants as most of those on board will be moved to other EU nations.

The move signals a modification of approach to migration from the new coalition which took office on Tuesday.

Ex-Interior Minister Matteo Salvini routinely obstructed access to charity-run migrant vessels.

The migrants were transferred from the Ocean Viking to a coastguard vessel before being taken ashore, Italian TV images showed.

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The Ocean Viking was bring 58 men, 6 women and 18 minors saved off Libya’s coast.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio informed Italian television that “the safe port was appointed due to the fact that the European Union concurred to our request to take many of the migrants”.

But this did not mark a return to a policy of open ports, he added.

” It must be clear that, even in the past with the previous federal government, our objective was to make sure that those migrants who arrived in Italy were redistributed to other European nations.”

Mr Salvini, the leader of the far-right League and previous ally of Mr Di Maio’s, took out of the union with his 5 star party last month in a quote to activate new elections.

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Media caption Carola Rackete: People are horrified on these boats

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted on Saturday that an advertisement hoc European contract had actually been reached in between Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg to enable the landing. “We now require to settle on a real momentary European system,” he included.

The EU seems inching towards a system for this – even if it is initially a short-lived, partial one.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that under the possible future agreement, his country would take 25%of saved migrants landing in Italy. “That will not be excessive for our immigration policy,” Mr Seehofer informed Saturday’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

He said it was time to end the “uncomfortable process” of bargaining over each ton of saved migrants.

EU interior ministers will satisfy in Malta later on this month to try to reach a wider offer, ahead of a European summit in October in Luxembourg.

France and Germany have each concurred to take a quarter of the boat’s migrants, with Italy to take 10%, AFP news agency reports.

SOS Méditerranée is running the rescue ship collectively with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

It stated on Twitter it had received the thumbs-up to sail to Lampedusa, six days after it carried out the migrant rescue off the coast of Libya.

MSF stated the group consisted of 58 men, 6 ladies and 18 minors.

Previously, they tweeted the reaction of the migrants on board when they were told they had been enabled to disembark in Italy.

In recent years Italy, like Greece, has struggled to cope with migrant boats cruising from North Africa or Turkey.

People-smuggling gangs continue to make huge benefit from African migrants desperate to reach Europe, as they flee war or hardship.

Libya is a major transit hub, but it is disorderly and violence is rife.

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