The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Italy on Sunday allowed all migrants stranded in a rescue ship anchored in a Sicilian port for five days to disembark ending the plight of 150 migrants and a sharp confrontation between Rome and its European Union partners.
Migrants, mostly from Eritrea, had been stranded at the port of Catania since Monday after the Italian government refused to let them disembark until other EU states agreed to welcome some of them.
Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, said Albania had offered to receive 20 migrants, while Ireland had offered to receive between 20 and 25 migrants and the Italian Catholic Church would receive the remaining “without charge” to Italian taxpayers.
“The church has opened its heart and treasury,” Salvini, who belongs to the right-wing party, told his supporters at a rally in Penzolo in northern Italy on Saturday evening.
Salvini, who has led a popular anti-migration campaign since the government took office in June, said a Sicilian prosecutor had decided to investigate him on charges including abuse of office, kidnapping and illegal detention.
“Being subject to investigation because of defending the rights of Italians is a shame,” he said.
On Saturday, the United Nations called on all parties to have wisdom after the envoys of 10 EU member states failed to find a solution to the crisis at a meeting in Brussels on Friday.