The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Six EU nations willing to take stranded migrants - Italian Premier

Associated Press Thursday, 15 August 2019, 16:24 Last update: about 7 months ago

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says six European nations are willing to take the 147 migrants stranded on a Spanish humanitarian boat off Italy.

In a sharp rebuke Thursday to his anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Conte said that France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg will all "extend a hand." He posted the note in an open letter to Salvini on Facebook.

Two weeks after rescuing the migrants from smugglers' unseaworthy boats, Open Arms is anchored in the Mediterranean near the Italian island of Lampedusa.

With his populist coalition near collapse, Conte warned Salvini that his defiance in blocking the migrants from disembarking is "disloyal collaboration, the latest to tell the truth, that I cannot accept."

Salvini's right-wing League party has lodged a no-confidence vote against Conte. Salvini wants to force an early election and win the premiership.

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