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Salvini blocks NGO human trafficking vessels from entering Italian ports

Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini has announced that migrants saved by boats run by non-governmental organisations will not be allowed to enter any Italian harbour.

Published: July 2, 2018, 5:24 am

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    Salvini has accused NGOs of encouraging the trafficking of migrants. He told Corriere della Sera these NGOs were no longer “legitimate”.

    Italy refused a boat full of migrants, the Aquarius, to disembark last month. Spain meanwhile agreed to take them after days at sea.

    The Maltese government also said on Thursday that it has closed its ports to NGO-run migrant-rescue ships after the case of the Lifeline vessel. “Following recent events that brought to the fore information that was previously unknown, Malta needs to ascertain that operations being conducted by entities using its port services and operating within the area of Maltese responsibility are in accordance with national and international rules,” a statement said.

    “This includes, but is not solely limited to, the certification or registration of vessels involved. “Given that there are investigations being carried out by independent authorities, and until these issues are clarified, Malta cannot allow entities, whose structure might be similar to that being subject to investigations, to make use of Malta as their port of operations, and to enter or leave the said port.

    “This is also in view of judicial processes that might ensue, and in order for the Maltese authorities not to be considered to be approving of systems of operations that might eventually be found to be carried out in breach of their own and international rules”.

    A summit in Brussels by EU leaders on the migrant crisis came to an “agreement” on the creation of “refugee centres” to receive migrants in EU countries on a voluntary basis – but it does not specify where.

    President Emmanuel Macron of France quickly said – within only hours after the deal – that such camps should be in countries where migrants arrived first – such as Italy and Greece, but not France.

    Italy insists that these may be set up anywhere in the EU. German Chancellor Angela Merkel persists in pretending that migrants are people “escaping the brutal war in Syria” even as rights groups themselves admit that there were safe zones in Syria and thus no reason to flee. Those Syrians who left for Turkey were safe and – most importantly – only 20 percent of the influx into the EU were from Syria anyway.

    At least three EU countries have since denied reaching any final agreement with Germany on the return of migrants to the country of entry after the Brussels summit ended.

    Spain and Greece have agreed to take back migrants, but not Italy, Austria or Hungary. The latter was one of the countries listed in German media reports as in agreement with Merkel. The embattled German leader herself told the media there had been “political consent” from 14 EU nations to strike such a deal in Brussels.

    “No such deal has been reached,” spokesman for Hungary’s government Zoltan Kovacs said. Budapest has repeatedly rejected German attempts to “return” migrants to their first EU country of entry. Poland and the Czech Republic, also denied reaching any agreements on the issue.

    “There are no any new agreements regarding the reception of asylum seekers from EU countries, we confirm (that), like the Czech Republic and Hungary,” Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Artur Lompart noted.

    Dublin repatriations from Germany currently only succeed in only 15 percent of cases, Reuters reported. According to the EU agreement on migrants, known as the Dublin Accord, the country of first entry is responsible for accommodating new arrivals. Merkel had previously ignored the Dublin Accord.

    Salvini meanwhile attacked another EU globalist institution on Thursday. He said the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling condemning Italy for confiscating several illegal construction sites without convicting those responsible, showed the court should be shut down.

    The Strasbourg court’s ruling regarded the Punta Perotti site in Puglia, Golfo Aranci near Olbia in Sardinia, and two sites near Reggio Calabria, Testa di Cane and Fiumarella di Pellaro.

    The ECHR said Italian authorities breached the right to respect private property. “The Strasbourg court condemns Italy and defends eyesores and the unregulated cementification,” League leader Salvini responded after hearing the verdict. “It is the umpteenth proof that certain institutions should be closed down”.

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