Boats containing migrants picked up in the Mediterranean will be banned from docking in Sicily during the G7 meeting in Taormina on May 26-27.
The directive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs ordered a gradual decrease in the number of ships calling at the ports of Sicily, which should lead to the complete closure of the sea harbors from 22 to 28 May.
Fears that migrants would compromise the security of world leaders, are mounting, and the strict measure to ban migrants from docking was ordered by Police Chief Franco Gabrielli. He said Italian security services had presented a plan to guarantee the safety of the heads of state and government that will be present during the summit.
The ban on docking migrants will be effective as from Monday, while leaders gather to discuss economic policy at the San Domenico Palace hotel on the island. The Libya-Italy taxi operated by NGOs will be directed to other ports, which could add a day or two to the journey, according to MSF.
Tommaso Fabbri the head of MSF Italy said: “Sailing from the rescue zone beyond Sicily and as far as mainland Italy is possible . . . but we are worried since it adds a day or two to the sailing time.”
Migrant boats dock in Sicily regularly to receive food and medical treatment before continuing on to dock at other Italian ports.
Migrants are ironically being kept away from the likes of German chancellor Angela Merkel who had vigorously promoted an open-border policy. The rest of Europe’s voters have to live with the risk on a daily basis. Unlike ordinary people, EU leaders will not be exposed to the danger.
The city will be in lockdown from May 13th, with cars banned and residents bussed in and out of town under guard. Mayor Eligio Giardina says because the heads of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are so coddled, residents are furious.
Earlier during the period from 10 to 30 May the local authorities even restored border control at internal borders with the Schengen States in anticipation of the meeting.
The measures will affect merchant shipping, as cruise lines will skip Sicily from their voyages, following the increased clampdown. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina.
The American secret service has been inspecting the roads of the former Arab fortress, according to Italian media. Taormina’s roads are too narrow to be safe, Italian newspaper La Repubblica said on Tuesday. President Trump will either be sleeping at the American air base of Sigonella, south of Catania, and be transported to meetings by helicopter, or he will be sleeping on an aircraft carrier to be anchored in the sea underneath the small city.
Merkel and Japan’s Shinzo Abe will be staying at the Hotel Timeo. There will be 10 000 security agents patrolling the area, and media will be cordoned off from the main event.
Trump is scheduled to participate in the Sicily summit following a NATO summit in Brussels and hoping to meet Pope Francis during his visit to Italy.