Sunday, September 23, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Europe’s migrant crisis: France takes in 78 refugees rescued at sea

/ 07:55 PM July 12, 2018

The Diciotti ship of the Italian Coast Guard, with 67 migrants on board rescued 4 days ago by the Vos Thalassa freighter, waits to enter the Sicilian port of Trapani, southern Italy, Thursday, July 12, 2018. The top security officials of Germany, Italy and Austria are touting their hard line on migration issues, saying Europe needs to protect its exterior borders and crack down on human smuggling. (Igor Petyx/ANSA via AP)

Innsbruck, Austria — France has taken in a group of 78 asylum-seekers, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, after their charity rescue ship was blocked form ports in Italy and Malta.

The French Interior Ministry said the group arrived in France on Thursday from Spain, where the Aquarius rescue ship that saved them was allowed to dock last month.

ADVERTISEMENT

The ministry said the 78 were identified as in need of protection as refugees and will be housed in regions in southeast and northern France while they go through the asylum process.

The Aquarius, carrying 630 migrants, drew wide attention after Italy and Malta refused the aid ship docking rights. Spain and France eventually agreed to accept the passengers.

FEATURED STORIES

France has taken in a much smaller share of migrants in recent years than neighboring Germany or Italy.

TIMELINE

1:30 p.m.

An Italian coast guard ship is in the waters off Sicily awaiting permission to disembark its 67 migrants, some of whom are accused of mutiny and threatening their rescuers if they were taken back to Libya.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has vowed to identify, jail and prosecute the “criminals” rescued over the weekend by a commercial tugboat off Libya. Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli has said a few of the migrants made death threats against the tug’s crew, apparently fearing they would be returned to Libyan detention centers.

The tug alerted Italian authorities to the threats, and the migrants were transferred to the coast guard ship Diciotti, which remained off the coast of Trapani on Thursday.

On Trapani’s docks were activists protesting Italy’s hard-line position on migrants. Many wore the red T-shirts that have become a symbol of those favoring a broader welcome for migrants, many of whom dress their children in red to make them easier to spot in cases of shipwreck.

ADVERTISEMENT

10:00 a.m.

The top security officials of Germany, Italy and Austria are touting their hard line on migration issues, saying Europe needs to protect its exterior borders and crack down on human smuggling.

Germany’s Horst Seehofer held talks with his Austrian and Italian counterparts, Herbert Kickl and Matteo Salvini, Thursday morning ahead of a wider meeting of European Union interior ministers.

Kickl says the group wants “to send a clear message to the world, and especially to the traffickers, that it won’t be possible anymore in the future, shouldn’t be possible anymore to step on European soil if you don’t have a right to protection.”

Seehofer says the ministers, all hardliners on migration, are seeking European solutions, but “all three of us know that this is going to be a Herculean task.”   /vvp

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Europe, European migrant crisis, France, Latest world news, Migration
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.