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France Allows Migrant Boat Barred from Italy to Dock

    France Allows Migrant Boat Barred from Italy to Dock
    Updated Nov 11, 2022
    Image credit: SOS Mediterranean/Reuters [via BBC]

    Facts

    • France confirmed on Thursday that it will allow the NGO ship Ocean Viking, which is carrying 230 migrants, to dock in the port of Toulon after the Italian administration prohibited the boat from docking in the nation.[1]
    • French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin criticized Italy's decision and denounced the "unacceptable behaviour [sic]" he says the Italian government led by Georgia Meloni, elected last month on a pledge to tighten border control, has displayed.[2]
    • Warning of "extremely strong consequences," Darmanin also said that France would not fulfill plans to take in 3.5K migrants currently in Italy. Meanwhile, Italy has argued it's the responsibility of the country where the ships are registered to look after any refugees onboard.[3]
    • Commenting earlier in the week, Meloni said: "The Italian government is complying with all international conventions." The conflict also caught the attention of the European Commission, which called for "immediate disembarkation at the nearest place of safety."[4]
    • The Ocean Viking is just one of several rescue boats that have attempted to disembark in Italy in recent days. Over the weekend, two boats collectively carrying 747 passengers docked in Italy. While initially met with pushback, all asylum seekers from both ships were allowed to disembark.[5]
    • According to AFP news, approximately 88K people have reached Italian shores this year, of which EU member states have taken in 164. The UN's International Organization for Migration has put the number who've died or disappeared while crossing the Mediterranean at just shy of 1.9K.[3]

    Spin

    Left narrative

    Italy's new far-right administration is clearly failing to adhere to international law and is deliberately prompting conflict within the EU to try and undermine the bloc, which it's ideologically opposed to. France is right; Meloni's officials are ignoring an unequivocal legal and moral obligation.

    Right narrative

    Macron cannot fix this migrant crisis, the routes of which are causally intertwined with failings throughout the EU bloc and its immigration system. Despite the passive siding of many EU nations with the NGO vessels, France is just as guilty of trying to pass illegal migrants onto other nations. This issue will only be solved when the EU collectively admits its concerns over border security and seeks reform.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 1.78K migrants will die or go missing in the Mediterranean in 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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