Italy has allowed a vessel carrying 82 rescued illegal African Muslim migrant wannbes to disembark in Lampedusa, Sicily, in a reversal of policy just days after the new coalition government took power.
EuroNews NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Twitter that six days since rescuing the migrants in the Meditteranean, its ship – the Ocean Viking – had been allowed to dock.
The decision to allow the boat to dock comes after months of legal and political wrangling over illegal alien migrant ships in Italy, which had been refused safe harbour under the former hardline interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and his populist coalition government.
It had been Salvni who, in August, had pledged to defy a court order and block a migrant vessel, Open Arms, as well as the Ocean Viking from docking in Italian waters. But the collapse of Italy’s governing coalition and the ousting of Salvini, the leader of the far right League party, has led to a change in policy towards migrant vessels.
Salvini, meanwhile, responded angrily to the news, writing: “The new government reopens the ports, Italy returns to the FIELDS OF ILLEGAL REFUGEES from Europe.” Accusing ministers of “hating the Italians.”