Italy closes ports to migrant-saving boats

Jul 01, 2018, 08:23 IST | Agencies

Salvini has often accused the NGOs of encouraging the trafficking of migrants. He said the NGOs were no longer "legitimate"

Italy closes ports to migrant-saving boats
Migrants aboard a rubber dinghy wave to rescuers aboard the Open Arms aid boat, of Proactiva Open Arms Spanish NGO. Pic/AP

Migrants saved by boats run by non-governmental organisations will not be allowed into Italy, rightwing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says. Salvini has often accused the NGOs of encouraging the trafficking of migrants. He said the NGOs were no longer "legitimate".

He also hailed the agreement reached by EU leaders that Italy hopes will lessen its burden. Thousands of migrants, mainly from African countries, have reached Italy. The number is 95 per cent lower than at the peak of the crisis in 2015, the EU says, but started to rise again recently.

Several states have rejected an EU scheme to relocate 1,60,000 refugees from camps in Greece and Italy.

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