Italy’s new interior minister demanded that a rescue boat carrying migrants from Libya turn around, according to the BBC Sunday.
Matteo Salvini, the new Italian interior minister from the “Lega Nord” party, said a boat carrying migrants in the Mediterranean Saturday should instead go to Malta, BBC reported. The boat called the Aquarius was carrying 639 migrants, including 123 minors, as well as seven women who were pregnant, the Daily Mail added. (RELATED: Italy’s New Prime Minister Stresses Eurosceptic Ideas In First Speech To Parliament)
“Malta takes in nobody,” Salvini said. He argued that Malta is instead closer to Libya, so the boat should instead go there. (RELATED: Somali Immigrant Allegedly Tried To Rape Woman In Labor)
“Saving lives at sea is a duty, but transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not,” Salvini added on Facebook Monday. “Italy is done bowing its head and obeying. This time there’s someone saying no.” (RELATED: Italian Politician Says Sending Back Illegal Immigrants Is A Top Priority)
“Enough,” he added.
Salvini previously told migrants to “pack their bags” because the good times are over during a rally in Northern Italy. (RELATED: Italian Government Tells Immigrants They Have To Go Back)
Malta refused to take the migrants, arguing they have no legally obliged since the ship was already headed to a rescue center in Rome.
UPDATE: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Spain will accept the Aquarius. The ship will dock in Valencia, Spain, according to the BBC Monday.
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