Agreement between seven European countries paves the way for Sea-Watch migrants to land

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 16:02
Agreement between seven European countries paves the way for Sea-Watch migrants to land © Belga
Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced on Wednesday that a distribution agreement reached with six other European countries would allow the 47 migrants blocked for 12 days on the Sea-Watch 3 ship to go onshore in Italy “in the next few hours”.“
Luxembourg has joined the list of friendly countries that have responded to our invitation” to take in migrants,” Conte told the press in Milan. “The landing operations will begin in the next few hours.”

The seven countries are France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Rumania, according to the Italian media.

Sea-Watch 3, chartered by Sea-Watch, a German NGO, and bearing Dutch flag, is currently off Syracuse, in southeast Sicily, where it was authorised to shelter from the bad weather. A meeting was held in the Syracuse prefecture on Wednesday morning, probably to organise the landing of the migrants, according to the media.

As in the case of other migrants saved at sea by Sea-Watch 3 and landed in early January in Malta after being blocked at sea for over two weeks, the ship will probably remain away from the shore, and hand over the migrants to the authorities’ launches, which will take them to land.

On Monday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron had announced at a summit of the seven European countries in Nicosia that France was ready to share the reception of the 47 migrants.

Italian Internal Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini had stressed that the migrants could only set foot in Italy if they then continued on to Germany, the NGO’s home country, or the Netherlands, where the ship is registered.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

Serious doubts over fingerprints on ID cards

Serious doubts over fingerprints on ID cards

A study by a group of experts has shot down government plans to include fingerprints on Belgium's electronic identity cards, describing the idea as “unnecessary and dangerous”.

About 100 children given up for adoption in Wallonia and Brussels in 2018

About 100 children given up for adoption in Wallonia and Brussels in 2018

In 2018, 96 children were given up for adoption in the French Community, Belga news agency reported on Friday, quoting figures from the Office of minister of youth Rachid Madrane.

Brussels climate marchers move on to Paris

Brussels climate marchers move on to Paris

Some 200 young people, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and her Belgian counterparts, Adelaïde Charlier, Kyra Gantois and Anuna de Wever, participated on Friday in Paris in the second day of a French youth-for-climate rally.