Catholic bishops, tiny Albania and Ireland agreed to take the 140 migrants blocked aboard an Italian coast guard vessel, Premier Giuseppe Conte said Saturday, announcing the end of 10-day standoff over the asylum-seekers but making clear an angry Italy could avenge a perceived lack of overall European Union solidarity by refusing to approve the bloc’s next multi-year budget.’
Albania said that it’s time they ‘pay back’ the favour Italians did to them when ‘the Eritreans were them’, referring to when they had to flee their country in the 90s.
AP reports that Italy must take note that the ‘spirit of solidarity is struggling to translate into concrete acts,” Conte said in a statement. Conte referred to declarations made at an EU summit in late June promising to help Italy and other Mediterranean countries deal with the burden of migrants rescued from human traffickers’ unseaworthy boats.
In his role as head of a nearly three-month-old populist coalition government, Conte said Italy under current conditions “doesn’t consider it possible to express adhesion to a proposed budget that underpins a policy so incoherent on the social level.”
In the meantime Corriere Della Sera reports Matteo Salvini is being investigated by Italian magistrates from Agrigento for abuse of power, and the accusation of holding people against their will, in connection to this case.
Earlier Matteo Salvini has warned that unless the EU will solve the migrant issue, it will veto the European Union’s budget. Salvini said this in a Tv interview on Saturday.
Twelve migrants disembarked from the MV Diciotti on medical grounds. The original order was for 17, but 5 women didn’t accept to disembark without their male partners.
According to Corriere Della Sera, all women on board the Diciotti were raped in Libya. This was medically verified by the doctors who visited those on board.
The medical condition of those on board is worsening with cases of scabies and possibly tuberculosis.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged EU countries to take responsibility for over 150 refugees, mostly from Eritrea, who have been stranded on an Italian Coast Guard vessel for several days.
In a statement on Saturday, the UN’s Refugee Agency implored EU member states to immediately take in some of the refugees on board Diciotti in the port city of Catania.
The refugees have been denied entry into Italy since being rescued by the Italian coast guards on August 16, waiting for the resolution of a serious standoff in Europe over the hot-button issue of refugees.
Earlier Stefano Vella, the head of the medicine authority resigned in protest to the attitude of the Italian government in the face severe health and humanitarian conditions.