The Update – Mediterranean Migration

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Euronews: Italy’s prime minister has allowed all child migrants on the coastguard ship that docked in the port of Catania on Monday into Italy. The legal agency in Sicily responsible for children’s welfare had made the request.

It’s a climbdown by the anti-immigrant government in Rome which previously said none of the 177 migrants would be allowed to set foot on Italian soil. A small group at the port held up an anti-government protest. Their banners read: “Lets protect people, not frontiers” and “Keep Being Human”.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly said Italy “will no longer be Europe’s refugee camp” Meanwhile, adult migrants remain on board the ship that rescued them from the Mediterranean, alive and physically safe, but still stateless and homeless.

Matteo Salvini said that if the Italian president wants to intervene, he can “but not with my consent “. In a long internet post, he challenged the prosecutor of Agrigento, who hypothesizes the kidnapping, for now against the unknown:

“I’m here, I’m not unknown, they want to try me or arrest me, they do not, I’m not alone”.

“We are battling for the other European countries to take their responsibilities and take part of them, but it is not the final solution,” he said. “The ultimate solution is not to get even one of these people irregularly in Europe”. The 29 minors aboard the Eighteen, however, “they descend, the others attack …”. 

Then he goes to the attack, in scathing and iridescent tones Mattarella, Fico and Conte.  

Salvini addresses Fico with an ironic comment on his predecessors “Bertinotti, Fini, Boldrini … I suspect that it is not a lucky charge”. Then it goes to “the Silver Asias, the Saviano, the Lerner”, which on migrants “are either stupid or are accomplices”. Then the passage on the head of state and the premier, Giuseppe Conte, who in a post has not at all disavowed the Salvini line. Convinced, the vice premier, to be right because “hundreds of people in the street tell me not to give up.” Italians are the least racist in the world My stop to land, is also in the name of the 5 million who live in poverty and do not holidays”, he explains. 

At the end of the tiratum a sort of ultimatum, a challenge to all the opponents: “Either you change country or you change minister”. 

The Malta Independent: The AFM has rescued 102 migrants 68 nautical miles south of Malta, as their dinghy was taking on water and the people on board were in distress.

Two of the migrants were found dead. The patrol boat with the migrants onboard arrived at Haywharf AFM base at around 1.15pm.  The migrants were taken for processing while the dead bodies were offloaded from the vessel.

Earlier: In a Facebook post, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, said that Italy did its part and saved the 177 migrants who were at risk through its Coast Guard ship Diciotti in Maltese SAR area. He said had it not been for that, migrants would die. At the same time he urged Europe to do its part and helps in the case. He also added that only France took the agreed migrants in the previous case which ended with the docking of the rescue ship in Pozzallo. He said that he’s expecting Malta, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Ireland to honours its commitment.

ANSA: Catania minors’ prosecutors on Wednesday wrote to the interior and transport ministers, the head of the civil liberties and immigration department and the local prefect urging them to let unaccompanied minors off the Diciotti coast guard ship docked in the Sicilian city. Agrigento prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio on Wednesday boarded the Dicotti coast guard ship in a probe into the allegedly unlawful detention of the 177 migrants who have been aboard the ship for five days and prevented from landing for two days.

The probe may lead to charges of abduction, legal sources said. The probe is as yet against person or persons unknown. If it were to target Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has ordered the migrants kept on board until the EU agrees to redistribute them, the case will be put to a special ministers’ tribunal, the sources said.

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