With some 184 immigrants on small boats entering Lapedusa this morning, a section of the Italian media is quoting sources close to the Italian Government which are stating that “Malta is once gain dumping the problem onto Italy.”
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini late yesterday posted a photograph on social media of a boat which he said was in Maltese waters, and added that there were a number of others like it.
Salvini stated that these boats were not in difficulty, and that the Italian authorities had contacted the Maltese authorities “to do their duty.” Salvini added that if this does not take place, he would do his utmost for the immigrants not to enter Italy.
The Maltese Government replied, however, that these were not search and rescue cases. The Government clarified that any interference outside a country’s territory, in instances where no assistance is requested, is considered an illegality.
TGcom24 is reporting that Italy’s Home Affairs Ministry is working on solutions described as “innovative and effective” in connection with the latest immigrant arrivals. It is being stated that the Government is considering sending back all the immigrants together to Tunisia.
Salvini stated that he had already met with the Tunisian Prime Minister for this country to help with the illegal immigration problem, and another meeting on this issue is expected to be held on Tuesday.
Id-dgħajjes li jaqsmu l-Mediterran iqanqlu battibekki ġodda bejn Malta u l-Italja