The NGO migrant “taxi” ship Ocean Viking has called on France, Spain, and Greece – but apparently no African or Middle Eastern countries – to find them a port to drop off over 200 migrants after Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi refused access to Italian ports.
SOS Méditerranée, the French NGO that operates the vessel, have called for help from France, Spain, and Greece to allow the Ocean Viking to dock at a port in one of the three countries and drop off the 234 migrants currently on board.
The call for assistance from the European Union member-states — there is no indication the NGO has sought a safe port in any African or Middle Eastern countries, even if some are closer than European ports in the likes of Spain, at the far west of the Mediterranean – comes after Giorgia Meloni’s interior minister, Matteo Piantedosi, refused the vessel port access in Italy.
French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has complained about Italy’s return to a stronger border policy, claiming that it is the closest port for the vessel, Il Giornale reports.
“When a boat asks to pull over with shipwrecked people on board, it is the safest and closest port that must welcome it,” Darmanin said — although in fact North African countries are generally closer to where Mediterranean boat migrants are picked up than Italy.
Italy: New Interior Minister Reviving Salvini Decrees to Stop Migrant ‘Taxi’ Ships https://t.co/cFUqC89VAO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2022
The German government, meanwhile, criticised Italy for not allowing in the Humanity 1 migrant transport ship: “On the ship Humanity 1 there are 104 unaccompanied minors. Many of them need medical attention. We have asked the Italian government to provide rapid relief,” the German government said.
Strangely enough they did not indicate that they would be happy for the Humanity 1 to dock at a German port, even though it flies under the German flag.
The European Union has also slammed Italy, with a spokesman for the unelected European Commission stating that “it must be stressed that it is a moral and legal obligation” for member-states to rescue people at sea.
Around a thousand migrants are aboard three NGO ships currently awaiting access to Italian ports, and all have been denied entry by Interior Minister Piantedosi, who has resurrected the security decrees enacted by League (Lega) leader Matteo Salvini when he held the ministry.
So far this year, migrant transport NGOs have shipped over 10,000 migrants to Italy — a large portion of the total number of illegal arrivals, which stands at over 83,000.
France Admits There Is ‘Real Collusion’ Between People-smugglers and Migrant ‘Rescue’ NGOs https://t.co/NGgHZRSIns
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 7, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.