Italy declined Spain's offer, conditions on Open Arms getting worse
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has refused to allow migrant rescue vessels to dock as part of his hardline policies.
The Open Arms vessel with 107 migrants on board is anchored off the fishing island of Lampedusa, southern Italy. Spain had offered to take in the Open Arms ship anchored off the Italian island of Lampedusa however faced with Italy's refusal to allow it to dock after 18 days at sea.
"Spain always acts in humanitarian emergencies. It is necessary to establish a European, orderly and supportive solution, leading the migration challenge with the values of progress and humanism of the EU," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.
The migrants were rescued from illegal traffickers' boats in the Mediterranean off Libya.They have spent 18 days aboard the Open Arms while they have been waiting to see whether anti-migrant sided Interior Minister Matteo Salvini will let them disembark. Six other countries of European Union have agreed to take the passengers. However they have been declined by Italy. Portugal, Spain France, Germany, Romania, and Luxembourg said earlier this week they would help relocate the migrants.
The Open Arms crew warned that the situation was out of control, and they could no longer guarantee the safety of the 107 remaining migrants. A day earlier, Open Arms' captain informed Italian authorities that the crew of 17 could no longer control the situation aboard, as frustrated migrants resort to fighting. A group of doctors on the vessel said that sanitary and hygienic conditions were very poor and the boat was not fit to hold such a large number of people.
Maritime Business World