The Atlantic

A Stranded Migrant Rescue Boat Reveals the Depths of the EU’s Crisis

Italy’s refusal to allow more than 600 migrants to disembark signals a bigger problem.
Source: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned last week of the threat facing the European Union if it fails to reach a common asylum policy. Her warning could not have been more prescient: One week later, a diplomatic crisis has broken out between France and Italy over what should be done about a rescue boat carrying more than 600 migrants off the Italian coast. And the crisis threatens to get worse.

It began over the weekend when Matteo Salvini, the interior minister of Italy’s, a vessel carrying 629 migrants rescued from the sea off the coast of Libya, from docking at Italian ports.The boat is run by two NGOs, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée. Salvini, who hinted Italy would take this approach with future NGO ships, suggested the boat dock in Malta instead. Malta’s government similarly refused to let the vessel disembark at its port.

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