Outgoing Italian interior minister Salvini in final anti-migrant flourish?

In what might be one of his last anti-migrant acts before he leaves office, Italy’s outgoing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has signed a decree banning tug Mare Jonio (IMO 7222669) from entering Italian waters. On August 28th the vessel rescued about 100 distressed migrants, many of them women and children, from a rubber boat adrift off the coast of Libya, which had one tube already deflated. The Mare Jonio is operated by Italian charity Mediterranea Saving Humans. She picked up the migrants in a rubber dinghy which was drifting and was already beginning to deflate.

Italy’s coalition between 5Star and the League has collapsed, but a new coalition between 5Star and the centre-left has been formed, under the same prime minister, thus pushing the league (and its leader Salvini) out of government.

Meanwhile, Malta has turned down a request from the Eleonore to permit the disembarkation of 100 rescued migrants. The ship had made two requests to enter Malta but both had been refused. Salvini had already barred the ship from Italy.

Malta has also denied the ship permission to restock food and water. A government spokesperson said that the vessel was free to receive supplies outside territorial waters.

1972-built, Italy-flagged, 320 gt Mare Jonio is owned by Idra Social Shipping SRL care of manager Augustea Imprese Marittime e di Salvataggi SpA of Genoa, Italy.