Rome: Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has indicated that no ships carrying migrants rescued from the Libyan marine borders, will be allowed an entry into Italian ports. Two days ago, Salvini had announced a ban on ships implementing international campaigns, commercial ships and foreign military ships. The Minister for Interior Security made it clear that even Italian ships will not be allowed to enter the ports by refusing permission to one such ship on Monday.
Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing League party has taken a very blunt stand against the migrants, since the formation of the new government last month. He had openly warned that bringing migrants into Italy amounts to illegal human trafficking and the country will not participate in such trade. He made his intentions of not allowing illegal migrants into Italy clear, by refusing entry for more than five ships successively.
In view of these events, the incidents that occurred in the last two days have been noteworthy. On Sunday, while announcing a blanket ban on the ships of foreign voluntary organisations, the Interior Minister also declared the intention of banning the entry of commercial ships as well as foreign military ships. He also indicated a ban on the ships that are a part of international campaigns. As per sources in Italy, it may include ‘Operation Sophia,’ of the European Union (EU).
By refusing permission to the Italian ship, ‘Vos Thalassa’ Salivini has indicated that his position on the issue has become even more stringent. Vos Thalassa is a ship operated by the French oil company, Total. The ship picked up the refugees near the Libyan marine limits on receiving distress signals, before the Libyan ship could arrive. However, the ship was stopped by the Italian coast guard.
The action taken by the ship was unnecessary as the Libyan agencies were on their way, criticised the Italian officials. The Italy’s transport minister has indicated that the incident will be investigated. This is the first instance of an Italian ship being refused permission to enter an Italian port and is believed to have conveyed an appropriate message for the criminal gangs and other groups involved in bringing in the hordes of migrants.
British agencies have recently warned that because of the aggressive stand adopted by Italy, the number of migrants trapped in Libya has reached around 700,000.