A lot of the grownup migrants rescued by the NGO Ocean Viking within the Mediterranean have been denied entry to France, which allowed the ship to disembark after Italy blocked entry to its ports, the inside ministry mentioned on Friday.
The backlash has reignited the EU’s immigration debate and heightened tensions between France and Italy’s new far-right authorities underneath Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
After pleading for days to dock in Italy, the Ocean Viking and its 234 rescued migrants disembarked within the French port of Toulon in what the French authorities known as an “exceptional” choice.
About 40 minors have been positioned in social care, whereas 189 adults have been taken to a detention middle to guage the validity of their asylum claims, a senior Inside Ministry official mentioned at a listening to by the State Council, the nation’s highest administrative court docket.
Of these, 123 individuals didn’t present enough proof to again up their claims and have been denied entry, the official mentioned, with out specifying if or after they may be deported.
The 66 others shall be transferred to 11 different EU international locations, together with Germany, Finland and Portugal, which agreed to take them in underneath a voluntary system that Italy desires to make necessary for all EU members.
A French presidency official, who requested anonymity, known as Italy’s refusal a “dirty trick” forward of a disaster assembly of EU inside ministers in Brussels subsequent week.
Below worldwide maritime legislation, ships in misery should be given entry to the closest port, that means Italy takes in a far better share than its EU neighbors of the migrants rescued attempting to cross from North Africa.
Meloni’s authorities says it has already taken in 90,000 migrants to date this 12 months, and mentioned its refusal to assist the Ocean Viking was a sign to the EU that it wanted a brand new burden-sharing system to unfold migrants throughout the bloc.
“We must work together to find effective solutions to immigration,” the presidency official mentioned, including that migrants taken in shall be deducted from the full quantity France has agreed to take from Italy within the coming months.
France has already suspended a plan to welcome 3,500 refugees presently in Italy, with Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin warning Rome of “several consequences for our bilateral relations”.