Of the four humanitarian ships that had collected more than 1,000 migrants, only the Ocean Viking from the NGO SOS Mediterranean is still blocked on Wednesday 9 November off the coast of Italy. He asked for assistance from France, and Italy is pushing for the French authorities to agree, which has caused tension between the two countries. Marseille and Corsica have already said they are ready to welcome the boat, which could finally dock in Toulon.
L’Humanity 1 was given permission to dock in Catania on Sunday, although the choice made by Italian authorities had sparked controversy. The Rise Above of the German NGO Mission Lifetime and Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders were able to land their survivors on Tuesday in Calabria, but Italy is still ignoring the requests of the Ocean Viking of the NGO SOS Méditerranée, which has requested assistance from France on Tuesday.
On the same day, Italy thanked France for agreeing to welcome the ship. The Italian press agency AGI claimed that the issue would have been decided between Giorgia Meloni and Emmanuel Macron during Cop 27, which takes place in Egypt.
However, the government spokesman Olivier Veran refused and indicated this Wednesday, November 9 on the set of France news that Italy must “respects its European obligations”.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin also indicated on Friday that “International law is very clear.” “When a boat asks to dock with castaways on board, it is the safest, nearest port that has to accommodate it, in this case Italy. »
Solidarity Minister and former director of the French Red Cross Jean-Christophe Combe is more conciliatory. He said Friday that “France is ready to welcome them like any other country”.
Marseille and Corsica express their solidarity
The president of the Corsican executive, Gilles Simeoni, declared on Twitter on Tuesday that “In accordance with its tradition of hospitality and to avoid loss of life, Corsica is ready, if necessary, to temporarily accommodate the Ocean Viking in one of its ports”.
Same story on the page of Marseille mayor Benoît Payan, who told AFP on Wednesday about migrants “that it was the honor of France to welcome them”. He announced this on Twitter “The castaways, children, women and men aboard the Ocean Viking must be rescued”. “France must open a port immediately and assume its responsibility. Marseille, true to its history, is ready. »
As a reminder, on November 5, Payan had presented a medal to Mimmo Lucano, the welcoming mayor of Riace, who is being sued by the Italian far-right.
Ocean Viking could dock in Toulon
According to our colleagues from Europe 1, a system by the French authorities is gradually being introduced in the Rade de Toulon. The ship could dock on Friday at dawn or this weekend at the latest. The operations would be directed directly from the Élysée.