Why Italy wouldn’t accept a boat carrying 600 migrants - but Spain will

Spain accepts 629 stranded migrants after Italy and Malta refused them

Spain accepts 629 stranded migrants after Italy and Malta refused them

The Rome-based rescue coordination centre gave the instructions.

A series of Italian maritime ships, cargo vessels and the Aquarius all helped with the rescue.

Malta has refused to take in the Aquarius.

Some of the minors come from Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria and Sudan. "It's something Italy hasn't done for many years".

Mr. Salvini's League forms one half of the coalition that formed a government with the Five Star Movement a week ago.

Salvini doubled down on his position earlier on Monday, warning another rescue ship, the Sea Watch 3, registered in the Netherlands and operated by a German charity, that it may not be allowed to dock in Italy if it picks up migrants off Libya, where it is now sailing.

But Salvini, who channeled Trump last week by telling reporters at a refugee camp in Sicily that Tunisia "isn't exporting gentlemen, it seems more often they're exporting convicts", responded defiantly to calls for mercy, even from the Vatican. "We need to have an idea of what port to go to, something that up to now we haven't had".

Matteo Salvini, Italy's hardline interior minister and leader of the anti-immigration League party, called on the country to "close the ports" and pledged Sunday to "STOP the filthy business of illegal immigration".

"Italy has stopped bowing our heads and obeying".

Will Malta accept the ship?

Could the migrants have gone to Malta?

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"As such Malta will not take the said vessel in its ports", their statement continued.

Europe should recognize that Italy needs greater support to ensure a humane approach to migrants and to protect refugees, but also be willing to insist that Italy's government respect human rights.

The agency was sent questions to assess whether any of the countries were violating their obligations to Frontex or any other worldwide agreements, and at which port should the migrants disembark.

Why has Spain stepped in?

The new prime minister said Spain was welcoming the Aquarius out of the "duty to avoid a humanitarian disaster", the AP reports.

In the meantime some in Italy have offered to take in the migrants, with the mayor of Taranto, Rinaldo Melucci, saying that the Calabrian port city was "ready to embrace every life in danger".

What are the rules around sea rescues?

SOS Mediterranee spokesman Mathilde Auvillain said the ship was "heading north following instructions received after the rescues and transfers" on Saturday night.

The Salvini gambit might be crude, against European Union and worldwide law, and an even offence against common decency, but it might also inject a dose of reality. "In general states have the obligation to provide assistance to persons in distress at sea".

Migrants watch the Sicilian coast from the "Aquarius" vessel as they arrive in Trapani, western Sicilia, Italy.

Also on Monday, Salvini signaled his intention to prevent a second foreign-flagged search-and-rescue vessel, Sea Watch 3, operated by a group of German volunteers and now positioned off the coast of Libya, from docking. Italy shouldn't have to shoulder the burden by itself, he added, when other European countries aren't doing their fair share.

"The duty of a democratic government is not to look away" in a humanitarian crisis, she said.

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