The rescue boat Aquarius that took on board 141 refugees on Friday still has no permission to land from any European country. Two Italian ministers pointed out yesterday that Aquarius is sailing under the flag of Gibraltar and Britain should therefore take the responsibility.
Sophie Beau, CEO of SOS Méditerranée, appealed on European states to take responsibility but Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said these refugees will not land in any Italian port. He wrote on Twitter that Aquarius was “owned by Germany, leased by a French NGO, has a foreign crew, is in Maltese waters and sails under the Gibraltar flag.”
“You can go anywhere you want, but not to Italy, stop trading with human beings,” wrote Salvini. Similar attitudes were expressed by his government colleague, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Danilo Toninelli.