The Italian coastguard ship Diciotti docked in the Sicilian port Catania on Monday night. The fate of 177 people on board, however, is still uncertain as Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini has not given authorization for the refugees to disembark until the Italian government has received a promise from EU countries to redistribute the refugees.
The Italian daily La Repubblica wrote on Tuesday that the Diciotti ship officially had a “technical break” in Catania to refill fuel, water and food. The Italian Minister of Transport, Danilo Toninelli, authorized the entry of the ship into the port on Monday. Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, then repeated that he would not allow any single refugee to disembark until the EU confirms the refugees would be received by other EU countries.
There were originally 190 refugees on board, but after an intervention of the Italian Coast Guard, 13 refugees in a serious medical condition were transported from the ship to Lampedusa Island. The ship with the remaining migrants on board was staying in international waters while Rome tried to negotiate the conditions for the refugees to be received by Malta. Malta refused to accept them.
Malta itself applied a similar procedure for redeploying the migrants across several EU countries, like last week after it allowed the Aquarius ship with 141 migrants from the Libyan coast to dock in Valletta.