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Italy threatens to close its ports to ships that rescue migrants

Italy's interior minister called on European countries to open their ports to migrant rescue ships.

Italy is in need of a travel ban Trump-style, as the Southern European nation faces a never ending migrant inflow that has now forced Italian leaders to threatened a closure of its ports to charity ships that rescue migrants in the Mediterranean…unless other EU states do not agree to take some of the of refugees onto their shores.

With migrant arrivals in Italy up nearly 19% over the same period last year, Italy has threatened to close its ports to privately-funded aid boats or insist that funding be cut to EU countries which fail share the migrant burden.

Expect the German regime, and EU oligarchs, to put Italy back in its place, squashing any hope of migrant relief, as the globalist reshaping of Europe will continue unabated, and Italy will incur the brunt of the suffering.

AFP reports Italy’s interior ministers, Marco Minniti told his German and French, counterparts during talks in Paris to address Italy’s migrant pressures…

“We are under enormous pressure.”

“There are NGO ships, Sophia and Frontex boats, Italian coast guard vessels” saving migrants in the Mediterranean, Minniti said, referring to the aid boats as well as vessels deployed under EU border security missions.

“They are sailing under the flags of various European countries. If the only ports where refugees are taken to are Italian, something is not working. This is the heart of the question,” he said.

“I am a europhile and I would be proud if even one vessel, instead of arriving in Italy, went to another European port. It would not resolve Italy’s problem, but it would be an extraordinary signal” of support, he said.

Critics say migrant ships have become part of the business model of people smugglers in Libya, who are able to sell places on vessels by telling migrants that they are likely to be rescued once out at sea.

More than 83,000 people rescued while attempting the perilous crossing from Libya have been brought to Italy so far this year, according to the UN, while more than 2,160 have died trying, the International Organization for Migration says.

Italy’s Red Cross has warned the situation in the country’s overcrowded reception centres is becoming critical.

“What is happening in front of our eyes in Italy is an unfolding tragedy,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Saturday.

One of the rescue organisations, SOS Mediterranee, which runs an aid vessel along with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said forcing boats carrying migrants to go to other European ports would be logistically difficult.

If the order came, “we would have no choice, we would obey. But it would be completely impossible with more than 1,000 people on board,” SOS Mediterranee spokeswoman Mathilde Auvillain told AFP.

“And then we’d need to make a stopover in an Italian port anyway to refuel, or we’d end up needing to be rescued ourselves.”

After weeks or months spent in Libyan camps — where many migrants are raped or tortured — those rescued are already traumatised, “imagine adding two or three more days at sea. Our priority is to protect them,” she said.

The once stable and rich state of Libya was dismantled by Hillary Clinton and her NATO aggressors in 2011, throwing the country into a state of chaos which remains today.

AFP further reports that the working dinner at the French interior ministry — also attended by EU Commissioner for Refugees Dimitris Avramopoulos — was aimed at finding “a coordinated and concerted response to the migrant flux in the central Mediterranean (route) and see how to better help the Italians,” a source close the talks said.

The four-way talks between Minniti, Thomas de Maiziere of Germany, Gerard Collomb of France and Avramopoulos will also prepare them for EU talks in Tallinn this week.

“The talks went off very well,” a member of the Italian delegation told AFP after the Paris meeting, with the “Italian proposals being discussed”. The source offered no other details.

Minniti said Rome would be pushing for a way to shift the asylum application process from Italy to crisis-hit Libya, and safely bring to Europe those who win the right to protection.

“We have to distinguish before they set off (across the Mediterranean) between those who have a right to humanitarian protection and those who don’t,” he said.

Unsourced Italian media reports said Rome was likely to call for a European code of conduct to be drawn up for the privately-run aid boats, with the Corriere della Sera saying vessels that did not comply could be “seized”.

Rome would like a regional maritime command centre to oversee all rescue operations from Greece to Libya to Spain, which would spread the migrant arrivals between European countries, it said.

And Italy insists that the EU refugee relocation programme — which is largely limited to people from Eritrea and Syria — should be expanded to include other nationalities, such as Nigerians, La Repubblica said.

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Alex Christoforou
Writer and director forThe Duran - Living the dream in Moscow.

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