Italian coastguard ship faces problems unloading migrants

Italy’s Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli has said that the country will let its coastguard ship Diciotti, which is carrying 177 migrants she rescued five days ago, dock in Sicily.

However, it was not clear when and if the migrants would be allowed to disembark. The EC also said that it was working on a solution to share the migrants aboard the Diciotti among Italy’s EU partners, following a request from Italy the previous day.

“The Diciotti ship will dock in Catania,” Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter, without specifying when. “Now Europe must hurry to do its part.”

That tweet was followed by Interior Ministry sources saying that Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had not yet given authorization for the ship to dock and that he was awaiting guarantees that the migrants would go elsewhere.

The conflict of information could at least in part reflect the fact that Toninelli and Salvini are in different political parties in the current coalition government in Italy, with Salvini’s League being noticeably more hardline on migrants than Toninelli’s Five Star movement – the senior partner in the coalition.