Ten NGO Ships Now Operating in the Med as Italian Leftists Push for Opening Borders

TOPSHOT - Migrants wait to be rescued as they drift in the Mediterranean Sea some 20 nautical miles north off the coast of Libya on October 3, 2016. Italy coordinated the rescue of more than 5,600 migrants off Libya, three years to the day after 366 people died in a …
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty

Ten migrant transport NGO vessels are now operating in the Mediterranean as the left-wing establishment Democratic Party looks to reopen Italy’s ports.

The Democratic Party (PD), led by Nicola Zingaretti, has made it clear it would like to overturn the migration and security decrees enacted by populist leader Matteo Salvini and reopen the country to NGOs once again, Il Giornale reports.

Perhaps in anticipation of a new policy, the NGOs have ramped up activity in the search and rescue (SAR) zone off the coast of Libya. The paper claims that the NGOs — all but one of which is based outside of Italy — have a total of ten vessels operating in the SAR zone.

The only Italy-based NGO, Mediterranea Saving Humans, was granted permission for their vessel, the Mare Jonio, to land in Italy on Monday due to health issues with the 31 migrants on board, several of whom were infected with the scabies parasite.

The NGO celebrated the move, writing: “Their odyssey is over and a bit of humanity can be seen on the horizon. Welcome to Europe!”

German NGO Mission Lifeline, which was banned from entering Italian territorial waters, also decided to land the 104 migrants onboard the Eleonore on Monday, forcing their way into Italian waters before being intercepted by the Guardia di Finanza.

Captain Klaus Peter Reisch ignored the ban on entry after declaring a state of emergency and was escorted to the port of Pozzallo and his ship was seized by Italian authorities.

All of the migrants were allowed off the vessel and a European Commission spokeswoman said efforts were being made to distribute the migrants to European Union member states.

The actions of Captain Reisch mirror those of Sea Watch Captain Carola Rackete who forced her ship into Italian waters in late June and was subsequently arrested. She, along with Captain Pia Klemp, faces potential prison time for aiding illegal immigration.

The change in direction over mass migration represents a significant u-turn from the policies of former interior minister Matteo Salvini, a right-wing populist who drove down the number of migrants being killed by people traffickers transporting them to Europe in shoddy, unseaworthy vessels by making the journey unworthwhile. The position was popular with Italians, and saw his League party’s ratings soar at in polling.

But the opportunity to consolidate that position has yet to come, as after the Italian government collapsed last week instead of the nation having an election, a group of left-wing parties created a new coalition, denying the Italian people a say.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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