Having floated at sea for several days, both ships now have permission to dock in Italian ports. According to the rescuers of the Sea-Watch 3, this happened after the weather conditions in the Mediterranean worsened.
The number of migrants trying to reach Europe from North African countries has increased dramatically over the past year. Last month, the United Nations Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that nearly 76,000 people made an attempt in the first half of this year, nearly 60 percent more than last year.
Many migrants try to enter Europe through Italy, including the island of Lampedusa. According to the local authorities, the number of migrants who reached the Italian coast in May and June of this year has more than tripled compared to last year.
The distribution of migrants across the European Union has been a hot topic in European politics for years. This week, the Italian government again called on the European Union to take in some of the thousands of asylum seekers who have entered the country in recent months. The interior minister is said to have called for an “urgent” change in the course of EU migration policy.
Meanwhile, the immigration issue is also dividing Italian politics. Right-wing populist leader Matteo Salvini, who has opposed immigration with his Lega party for years, wants Prime Minister Mario Draghi to work even harder to stem the flow of migrants.