08:06 GMT14 July 2020
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Italian ports remain closed for migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini reaffirmed on Thursday, lashing out at European migration policy.

    "Our ports remain closed, there are zero incidents of [migrant] disembarkation, and Italians won't pay a single euro for those who arrive again. Europe should (finally) accept the hundreds of migrants that it pledged to take away from Italy last summer," Salvini posted on Facebook.

    READ MORE: Italian Police Arrest 8 Men for Migrant Smuggling Operation — Investigators

    Salvini emphasized that the European Union should eventually fulfil its commitment to redistribute among the EU states over 200 migrants who disembarked in Sicily back in July. According to the Italian Interior Ministry, only some of these migrants have been redistributed despite promises that Malta, Germany, Spain, and Portugal made to accept 50 migrants each.

    While Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday that Italy was willing to accept from 10 to 15 migrants, Salvini, known for his tough stance on migration, pointed out that it was exclusively the Interior Ministry that could deal with migration matters, also pledging that he would never agree to accept new migrants.

    READ MORE: Rome Not to Accept French Apology for Dumping Migrants in Italy — Salvini

    In early December, the European Commission called on EU member states to distribute among themselves 49 migrants rescued by German NGOs in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Malta. On Wednesday, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that Malta had reached an agreement with other EU member states to allow these migrants to disembark, adding that they would be redistributed among Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The Maltese authorities also insisted that another 249 migrants, already accepted for a temporary stay in the country, should be added to this latest batch of refugees.


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    migrants, European Union, Matteo Salvini, Italy
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