Although the NGO ship that had just rescued 300 migrants off the coast of Libya stated it was dealing with a Christmas-emergency, Italian Interior Minister Mr Matteo Salvini could not be moved and repeated his mantra of the past year, stating: "My answer is clear: Italian ports are closed!"
"For the traffickers of human beings and for those who help them, the fun is over."
The Spanish group Proactiva Open Arms stated that it had picked up 311 migrants from vessels in difficulty in the Mediterranean on Friday, and that a mother and newborn baby had been evacuated to Malta.
Related coverage: Italy - Migrants Rescued At Sea Refuse To Go Ashore In Libya
The NGO claimed that the situation was becoming "an emergency," adding that Malta had rejected calls to supply food to the migrants.
Within a few hours of Italy's rejection, Spain's minority leftwing government gave authorization for the rescue ship to dock at the southern Spanish port of Algeciras.
The rescued migrants were found on three small boats, not far off the Libyan coast. "This is Christmas on the Mediterranean," Proactiva Open Arms tweeted.
Meanwhile, a German NGO is also on its way with a ship to the area off the coast of Libya to carry out rescue missions in the coming days.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 113,000 migrants came via the dangerous route across the Mediterranean to Europe this year: 56,480 reached Spain, 31,310 came to Greece and 23,126 arrived in Italy. However, ever since the arrival of the populist government of Mr Matteo Salvini and his Lega Nord in Italy, the route towards any Italian ports has been closed. Spain has since then become the number one destination in Europe.
Many migrants did not survive the trip: 2,242 people drowned or are missing.
Meanwhile, sixteen migrants tried to reach England on board of a small fishing boat. They were intercepted on Saturday night off the coast of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Among them were also two children.
Since October there have been remarkably more attempts by migrants to cross the Channel as they fear the arrival of Brexit (planned for 29 March) will lead to a full closure of the UK border. However, the strong currents and temperature of the seawater on the British channel makes the risks even greater.
Follow me on Codias!
Follow me on Twitter!
Follow me on Gab!
Be Sure To Share Our Articles!
The Goldwater Proudly Supports 8ch.net