Italy‘s interior minister Matteo Salvini is refusing a German NGO rescue ship #Eleonore carrying 100 migrants an opportunity of docking. Matteo Salvini continues an effective policy of protection of Italy maritime border, as well as a strategy of the imposition of solidarity on the other EU member-states, leaving Rome for too long alone to resolve the problem of exodus of Africans from Sahel, the other conflict zones, and failed states of the continent.
According to the NGO the dingy 100 passengers were taken aboard “sinking” roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) off the Libyan coast on August 26. (Image below: illustration).
Captain Claus-Peter Reisch claims that the rescue had taken place “literally in the last second.” However, he added, “we still haven’t received a positive response from EU states.”
The charity Lifeline, which operates the 20-meter (65-foot) ship, Eleonore, has urged German government to assist in finding a safe harbor. However they warned that in case of an “emergency”, the boat will have to dock somewhere without a permission.
“The politicians should deal with it quickly,” Lifeline spokesperson Axel Steier informed Germany’s Catholic news agency, KNA, “Otherwise, we’ll have to deal with it.”
There are about 30 people who claim that they are minors, however in absence practice of birth certificate issuing in Africa, this information can not be verified. According to the World Bank 500 million Africans have no birth certificate, neither passport or identity card.
At present the vessel is next to Malta coast, which also refuses the docking, but delivered supply to the boat. The vessel is being supplied with water, couscous, apples, disinfectant and other basic necessities, as well as toys for children.
Film-maker Jonathan Schörnig reports on difficult conditions on the Eleonore. There is not enough space for all rescued people to sleep, however they try to cheer up with songs.
In two letters addressed to the Armed Forces of Malta (and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Interior Minister Michael Farrugia) and the other to the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Avramopoulos, Lifeline says that following yesterday’s rescue, they would hope for a ‘swift and humane solution for the 101 people on board.’
So far the EU has not offered a plan of sharing the migrants, claiming asylum, among the member-states.
There were about 134,000 migrant arrivals to Europe in 2018, which is a decrease from 180,000 arrivals in previous year. Spain was the biggest destination in 2018, having received some 60,000 migrants. This compares to nearly 46,000 in Greece and 23,000 in Italy, according the the European Commission report monitoring the Mediterranean sea route.