Italy’s anti-immigration Deputy PM Matteo Salvini yesterday said: “Shouting does work” as a shipload of 629 migrants barred from entry made it’s way towards Spain. Fiery Salvini had blocked the aid agency ship from entering Italian ports and instead ordered it to sail to Malta – who also refused to accept responsibility.
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Eventually Spain stepped in on “humanitarian grounds” and last night the Aquarius was starting a four day voyage across the Med for Valencia.
Delighted Salvini, of the right wing Northern League party, said: “Victory. Evidently raising your voice, something Italy did not do for years, pays.”
He added: “The problem was solved thanks to the big heart of the Spanish Government but the EU cannot keep depending on big hearts.”
Salvini’s party is a key player in the populist government which won elections earlier this year on a tough anti immigration campaign vowing to boot out 500,000 illegals.
Yesterday aid workers on the Aquarius said food and water had been running low but they had now received supplies.
Operated by SOS Mediterranee and Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) the vessel had been stuck 35 nautical miles off the coast of Sicily since Saturday, when Italy refused permission to dock