Italy rescues 500 migrants aboard a fishing boat International scaled

Italy rescues 500 migrants aboard a fishing boat | International

The migratory flow from North Africa to the Italian coasts has grown in recent weeks, while the Executive of Giorgia Meloni pressures the European Union to redistribute the migrants who land in the transalpine country. This Sunday, in an operation extremely complicated by weather conditions, the Coast Guard rescued 500 migrants who were on board a fishing boat that was some 70 miles (112 kilometers) off the coast of Sicily. The Coast Guard had to use several boats to be able to transfer the castaways to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo. The night before, that same body had come to recover the 6 men and a woman who were on board another vessel, the merchant ship ChristinaB. When they were found, four of them were already lifeless.

The rescue operation of the fishing boat, outside the usual controversy of the Italian Executive since it was not the ship of an NGO, took place in an area whose rescue responsibility should fall on Algeria. The Algerian authorities began to coordinate the rescue process and sent a boat to the place. But the migrants jumped into the water as soon as they sighted the Algerian ship. Given the proximity to Italy, the Algerian authorities asked Italy for help. The Coast Guard agreed to take care of the migrants.

The event comes at a time of maximum tension between Italy and some European partners, such as France and Germany, due to the redistribution of migrants who arrive on Italian shores. Until last Friday, so far this year, 93,629 migrants have arrived on the Italian shores, compared to 59,689 in the same period of 2021, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior. And the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, wanted to send a message to her toughest electorate with her policy of closed ports. The latest battles waged by the Executive against the NGOs that rescue migrants have meant that at this time there is not a single boat from these organizations and the risk of shipwreck increases.

Meloni initially refused to allow passengers from several boats that had rescued hundreds of migrants to disembark. However, they all ended up going down to the port except those of the French-flagged ship of the NGO ocean vikingwhich ended up going to France and opening the conflict between both countries.

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