Except that, as pointed out on IlGiornale.it by Giuseppe De Lorenzo, there is no Viminale Matteo Salvini and the Giallorossi coalition only now seems to have noticed the presence of a ship loaded with migrants which, for several days now, has been positioned on the high seas without any authorization to disembark. Even if the Ocean Viking case of these days is exactly identical to the Sea Watch or Ionian Sea of 2019, in the media there is no shouting about the “kidnapping”, let alone talk about racism among those within the current government is taking time to disembark the French NGO ship.
More simply, what was decided by Count II, especially from the parts of the Interior Ministry and of Foreign Ministry, from the left it seems to have been cataloged in the category of “political choices” and not instead in those of choices that, with Salvini in government, would also have been considered of criminal importance. However, choices that, exactly like those of last year, actually have an important political fund.
And this is because Italy, regardless of the color of the government, cannot afford to let every NGO ship that takes to the Libyan coast on board migrants sent to the sea by unscrupulous smugglers. All the more reason this year that our country is experiencing an emergency coronavirus and officially, since April 8, ports are not considered safe. So here legitimately Viminale and Farnesina have moved, in reference to the Ocean Viking case, to put other countries in front of their responsibilities.
Starting from Malta, which, however, as usual, did not intervene despite the fact that the NGO ship for several days crossed the waters under its jurisdiction. Then, as reported by Francesco Borgonovo on The truth, Italian diplomacy worked to call into question two other governments that should take charge of the affair: the French and the Norwegian ones. The first because Sos Mediterranée, as mentioned above, is based in France and the second because Ocean Viking flies the Norwegian flag.
Even in this case, however, no answers have arrived in Rome. For this reason, the government waited several days before assigning a safe harbor to the Ocean Viking crew. A way of precisely waiting and calling into question the other countries involved in the affair and the same European Union. Which was the same reason that prompted Salvini to stall and close the ports to NGOs in 2019. An identical political line, despite the media silence of these days on Ocean Viking.
But if Salvini had the support on this front of his party and the government to which he belonged, whose “majority shareholder” was the Five Star Movement, today the new executive must also account for that left-wing part of the Pd and to those areas that are more red than the majority that pave to satisfy NGOs. So, in fact, the executive on the immigration front is kept in a cage: on the one hand the absence of European partners, on the other the internal pressures deriving from the majority.
And not only that: because the NGOs have not forgotten how to exert media pressure to be assigned safe ports to disembark. In recent days, for example, reciting a script already seen in the previous months, the crew of Ocean Viking has launched several alarms: nervousness among migrants, suicide attempts, declaration of state of emergency, a context that has forced the Interior Ministry to send a team of doctors and psychologists on board. Which, however, did not highlight many critical issues. But that was enough to send further pushes towards Palazzo Chigi for the Italian government to land Ocean Viking. Mission perhaps accomplished: tomorrow the ship should reach Porto Empedocle and from there to transfer migrants on Moby Zazà, the vehicle used since May to host migrants in quarantine.
UPDATE We read news that mention the landing plans for the 180 shipwrecked. There #OceanViking has not received any official news.
– SOS MEDITERRANEE ITA (@SOSMedItalia) July 4, 2020
For their part, come on Twitter the members of Sos Mediterranée have denied saying that at the moment no official communications have arrived, however on the afternoon of this Sunday the official go-ahead for the landing in Porto Empedocle has arrived. And so the government had to give in to political and media pressure once again.
Meanwhile, continue. For example, now the issue is also dealt with by the merchant “Talia”, which has 52 migrants on board recovered in recent days off Libya. Alarm Phone interventions on the case have been recorded in recent hours, the telephone network that receives SOS calls from barges in difficulty: “The merchant ship Talia needs a safe harbor for days! Instead the shipwrecked are still at sea! – yes reads in the Alarm Phone tweet – Talia has respected international law by rescuing people in difficulty in the Sar area of Malta. Malta is evading its legal obligations by refusing to land. ” Alarm Phone therefore asked for an “immediate landing in Malta, the closest safe harbor, to protect the health and safety of the rescued people and crew”. The NGO Sea Watch and Mediterranea Saving Humans also spoke on the Talia affair: both organizations asked the Maltese authorities to land the merchant ship with the migrants on board as soon as possible. At the moment no communications have arrived from Valletta, therefore it is possible that Italy will be forced to intervene once again on the case.