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Germany relief ship carrying dozens of migrants stranded off Italy coast

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini [Stefano Rellandini/Reuters]
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini [File photo][Stefano Rellandini/Reuters]

The relief ship of the German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch is still stranded in Italian territorial waters in the Mediterranean with 43 migrants on board.

These migrants “have only been seeing water 24 hours a day, nothing moves. It’s very psychologically tiring,” the organisation’s spokesperson Ruben Neugebauer told German news agency DPA on Monday.

Sea-Watch 3 ship is not allowed to dock at an Italian port or to enter Italy’s territorial waters. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini allowed only 10 immigrants from the ship to enter Italy, on Saturday, including ill people and families with children.

Many German cities expressed their readiness to receive the migrants, but the federal government did not make a decision on the matter.

UN: Over 24,000 refugees entered Europe in 2019

The ship rescued a total of 53 people from a rubber boat off the coasts of Libya on Wednesday.

Since the populist government took over power in Rome, it has repeatedly prevented refugee relief ships from entering the country after rescuing refugees from the sea.

The Italian cabinet approved last week a decree in Rome, under which non-governmental organisations would face the risk of imposition of penalties against them between 10,000 and 50,000 euros in case their ships enter any airport without authorisation.

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