Italian Government refuses ship with over 600 migrants aboard

Author (Person)
Series Details June 2018
Publication Date 10/06/2018
Content Type


Italy's government decided on 10 June 2018 not to let a rescue boat with 629 migrants dock in any of the country's ports, causing international outcry. In a direct response, the Spanish government announced it was ready to receive the ship and host those migrants rescued from the Mediterranean sea.

Further information:

Analysts saw the decision as a way for Italy's interior minister to consolidate his leadership and influence within the government, which had taken office only shortly before. It was also used as an opportunity to send the electorate a signal that policy change was taking place. Spain's announcement on hosting the rescue ship - after Malta refused to do so - was interpreted as a victory by the Italian interior ministry.

The decision also caused tension between Italian and French authorities, following harsh criticism from the latter. The French President was quoted as telling that 'there is a degree of cynicism and irresponsibility in the Italian government’s behaviour with regards to this dramatic humanitarian situation.'

Related Links
BBC News, 12.06.18: Stranded migrants: Macron scolds Italy over Aquarius ship
EurActiv, 11.06.18: Spain to receive rescue boat with 629 migrants after Italy, Malta refuse
The New York Times, 11.06.18: Italy’s New Populist Government Turns Away Ship With 600 Migrants Aboard
Euro|topics, June 2018: Aquarius drama: Europe gambling with refugees
[Opinion] EUObserver, 12.06.18: The Aquarius migrant boat - and the EU policy failings
The Guardian, 11.06.18: Italian minister declares victory as Spain accepts rescue boat
Reuters, 10.06.18: Italy shuts ports to migrant boat, asks Malta to open its doors
The Local (Italy), 11.06.18: Spain, not Italy, will take in stranded migrants 'to avoid catastrophe'
Politico, 13.06.18: Italy summons French ambassador over migrant row
[Analysis] ECFR: Commentary, 11.06.18: Ideology first: Italy’s troubled approach to migration
Politico, 11.06.18: Italy uses migrant threat for domestic and diplomatic gain
The Economist, 12.06.18: Italy’s Matteo Salvini refuses to let a boat full of migrants land
The Conversation, 13.06.18: Asylum seekers are now political pawns in a disharmonious EU
Verfassungsblog, 11.06.18: Refugees in Orbit – again!
UNHCR: Press Release, 17.06.18: UNHCR warns against repeat of Aquarius disembarkation standoff as boat arrives in Spain
UNHCR: Press Release, 12.06.18: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Grandi urges fair and coherent approach to European asylum policies
IOM: Press Release, 12.06.18: IOM Director General Welcomes Spain’s Offer of Safe Harbour for Migrants Aboard Aquarius

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