PARIS (AP): Officials in southern France made impassioned pleas Tuesday to a so-far-silent French government to allow docking access to a ship carrying 141 migrants that it rescued last week in the Mediterranean Sea, stressing humanitarian concerns.
Officials in the French island of Corsica said the Aquarius should be allowed to dock there after Italy’s new anti-migrant government and Malta both refused to take it. The vessel, currently between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, is operated by French aid groups who say the health of those rescued in two operations Friday is stable but that many are weak and malnourished. “Simply, there’s a necessity today to get help to this ship,” Jean-Guy Talamoni, president of Corsica’s local assembly, told BFM-TV.
“It’s time (Europe) wakes up and that everyone takes their share of responsibility. In the meantime, there are emergency situations, and you have to deal with them,” he added. Corsica’s executive council head, Gilles Simeoni increased the pressure on Tuesday with a tweet: “Corsica and its ports remain available for emergency humanitarian aid.” Simeoni added that Europe needs a real European policy on the migrant issue in the Mediterranean sea.