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Italy’s new government sends immigration message by rejecting rescue ship

2018-06-12 10:04:00       source:The Washington Post

June 11, 2018


Italy’s new populist government has delivered a jolt to European migration politics, prompting a diplomatic standoff with its refusal to accept a rescue vessel overloaded with migrants.


Even after Spain offered to open its doors on Monday, the incident was not fully resolved, because the Aquarius — with 629 people aboard, including unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and people suffering chemical burns — still faced a grueling multiday journey from near the coast of Malta to the Spanish port of Valencia.


The dispute was among the first consequences of political upheaval in Italy, where anti-migrant leaders recently rose to power with a pledge to crack down on new arrivals from the Middle East and Africa. At a news conference on Monday, Italy’s powerful interior minister, Matteo Salvini, protested the inequity of Italy serving as a primary entry point for refugees and migrants while other members of the European Union balk at helping to resettle them.


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https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/italys-new-government-sends-immigration-message-by-rejecting-rescue-ship/2018/06/11/f213dafe-699a-11e8-a335-c4503d041eaf_story.html?utm_term=.a19ad9154d2b