Madrid will propose "in the hours to come" a new solution for migrants massed aboard the boat of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, many of whom jumped on the water Tuesday to join the swimming Lampedusa.
Stationed since Thursday a few hundred meters from the shores of the Italian island, this hundred migrants rescued by the NGO off the Libyan coast are forbidden to disembark, even if six European countries (France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal Romania and Spain) are committed to welcoming them.
In a desperate move, fifteen migrants, some without lifejackets, threw themselves into the sea on Tuesday to attempt to swim to Lampedusa. "The situation is out of control," Proactiva Open Arms said on Twitter.
According to a spokesman for the NGO, they were "rescued" by the Italian coastguard and "evacuated to Lampedusa".
Some of the migrants have been on board the Open Arms for 19 days, matching the record of migrants rescued by SeaWatch3 in late December before landing in Malta on 9 January.
Faced with Rome's refusal to let them land on the island, Madrid ended up proposing Sunday to the ship to join Algeciras, in the extreme south of Spain, which the NGO has deemed "absolutely unachievable".
The Spanish government then proposed the Balearic Islands, closer but still distant a thousand kilometers from Lampedusa, an idea deemed "incomprehensible" by Open Arms because of the three days of sea necessary to rally the Spanish archipelago.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Tuesday that Madrid would make a new proposal "in the coming hours" to solve this "humanitarian emergency", without giving further details.
In an interview published Tuesday by El Pais, the founder of Open Arms, Oscar Camps, asked that migrants can land in Lampedusa before being transferred by plane to Spain.
Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, for his part, has shown that the Italian coastguards bring migrants to Spain. But provided Madrid withdraws its flag at the Open Arms.
"The situation aboard the Open Arms has become unsustainable," he said on Tuesday, while according to the Italian news agency AGI, the Agrigento prosecutor in Sicily went on site to monitor the situation. near.
- Pass of arms -
The fate of the migrants of the Open Arms has turned to the battle between Madrid and Matteo Salvini, accused of wanting to profit politically from this case in the middle of a political crisis in Rome, where the populist government torpedoed by Salvini should fall Tuesday.
Again conspiring the boss of the League (far right), which she had on Monday accused the position of "shame for humanity", Margarita Robles said Tuesday that "human lives did not matter".
"In the face of humanitarian urgency, no one can look away - we will not do it, unlike Salvini," she said.
"Firmness is the only way to prevent Italy from becoming again the refugee camp of Europe, as the Spanish NGO's boat of false sick and fake miners still demonstrates" hammered Salvini on Twitter.
© 2019 AFP