Italy wants to crack down on maritime rescuers

“There will definitely be new measures”

The Italian government hints at measures against maritime rescuers

Following the recent escalation of the migrant admission dispute, the Italian government is threatening civilian maritime rescuers.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni meets the media at a press conference at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. Photo: Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse/dpa

“There will definitely be new measures,” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Friday. At the press conference, she was asked whether Italy is planning measures and wants, for example, to arrest ships of international organizations that do not comply with Italian rules. The right-wing politician did not specifically address it and did not provide any details.

Earlier this week, the new government initially banned two organizations – Germany’s SOS Humanity and Doctors Without Borders – from letting any rescued migrants disembark from their ships in the port of Catania. This only happened when the health department sent the men who remained on the ships off-board for medical reasons. Meloni recently called the measure “bizarre.” A ship belonging to the organization SOS Méditerranée, “Ocean Viking”, was not allowed to enter Italian waters and was sent to France. This caused a diplomatic row between Rome and Paris.

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