Several rescue ships at sea, chartered by NGOs and carrying hundreds of migrants on board, are still denied the right to dock on Italian soil. The negotiations between Italians and Europeans do not seem to be successful, while far-right rhetoric takes hold.
This is precisely the case of Massimiliano Romeo, leader of the far-right party La Ligue (League) to the Italian Senate, which criticized those who, within the European Union, constituted themselves as “moralists” and preach “humanitarianism”.
“I notice that in Europe they are all humanitarians but with the port of others, a bit like those who are moralists with the problems of others”said Mr. Romeo.
Tension is growing between Italy and Europe on the delicate issue of migration, while several ships of foreign NGOs, carrying hundreds of migrants on board, are still waiting to dock. Europe asks Italy to show solidarity, but the Italian Meloni government rebels against EU rules and calls for the direct and unequivocal redistribution of asylum seekers to other member states.
“On the boat, [les migrants] they are in optimal conditions, they have no particular problems, they are fed and cared for. In some cases they find themselves in more humane conditions than in some reception centers, such as that of Lampedusa “added Mr. Romeo.
Hundreds of migrants have already landed in Sicily in recent days, transported by two humanitarian ships: “Humanity 1” and “Geo Barents”. 89 migrants also landed in Calabria aboard the German ship “Rise Above”, to be embarked safe placeby the Ministry of the Interior.
The head of the Geo Barents ship’s mission, Juan Mattias Gil, says he will soon be back at sea “save lives” despite the Italian government’s decision to clearly show the country’s refusal to accept them.
Back and forth between France and Italy
The “Ocean Viking”, ship of the NGO Sos Méditerranée, is heading for France, the only country in Europe to have made itself available to welcome ” apart from “ of the 234 migrant passengers, after several days of silence. It therefore seems that France will make a selection, like Italy, of the migrants to be welcomed.
A few hours earlier, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had thanked France for its solidarity, following the meeting between Mrs. Meloni and President Emmanuel Macron at COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini, federal secretary of the League, also welcomed France’s willingness to welcome migrants previously destined for Italy: “This is a good thing. There is change in the air.”
France, on the other hand, reproaches Italy, guilty of a “unacceptable behavior”and an attitude“contrary to the law of the sea and the spirit of European solidarity” he told al AFP a French government source.
For the spokesman for the French executive, Olivier Véran, Italy must “play your role”And “Respecting European commitments”.
Oceanic Viking ” it is currently found in Italian territorial waters. There are extremely clear European rules “added Mr. Veran. So he promised it “no one will let this ship run the slightest risk, obviously for those on board”.
“We are very happy if someone [la France] begins to take on a certain responsibility, sharing it with Italy. The weight of illegal immigration, as we are the most exposed country, has in fact been delegated to us over the years “concluded Minister Francesco Lollobrigida.
Comparison with Brussels
The European Commission had asked Italy to facilitate landings on the basis of a “Legal and moral obligation”.
“I would like to reiterate once again that, in accordance with international rules, it is necessary to make every effort to ensure that the time spent aboard these ships is minimized” Commission spokeswoman Anitta Hipper said.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi rejected this offensive and insisted on specifying: “We do not take lessons from anyone on respect for human rights”.This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, former president of the European Parliament, Italy “Respect and apply the rules”.
An analysis that is far from shared by the secretary of the Democratic Party Enrico Letta, who asked Minister Piantedosi to report to Parliament on the situation in terms of migration and skilled workers ” the selection of people desperate for aberrations and slaps in the face of civilization and the rule of law“.
“We are those who, in the EU, demand the sharing of responsibilities and solidarity”wrote Mr. Letta on social media.
The Commission calls for the immediate disembarkation, in the nearest safe place, of all the people rescued aboard the Ocean Viking because“The situation aboard the ship has reached a critical level and must be addressed urgently to avoid a humanitarian tragedy”.
The Commission, recalling the principle of cooperation between Member States, asks“Work together to ensure a common response”.
“It is important to provide support to countries that receive regular arrivals by sea: based on the agreed solidarity mechanism, a significant number of relocation places are available to help alleviate some of the pressure by moving to other Member States”says the Commission in a note.