The following article appears on?The Local.
Italy defiant as migrant ship stranded in Mediterranean
Italy defiantly declared on Saturday that its ports were closed to foreign-flagged rescue ships as German charity vessel Lifeline lay off the coast of Malta in limbo with more than 230 migrants aboard.
Malta — which is also refusing to take in the boat in a new diplomatic?standoff with Italy — nevertheless said it had sent in humanitarian?supplies.
“The Lifeline, an illegal ship with 239 immigrants on board is in Maltese waters,” Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini wrote on Facebook. “These boats can forget about reaching Italy, I want to stop the business of trafficking and mafia.”
Salvini’s tough talk came on the eve of an emergency mini-summit in Brussels to address the divisive issue of how the EU can tackle the renewed influx of migrants and refugees seeking a new life in Europe.
Just three weeks in office, Italy’s new populist government is digging its heels in on campaign promises to stop the influx of migrants, threatening to seize rescue ships or barring them from its ports.Continue reading at The Local.?
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