September 23, 2023



France Denies Entry to Over Half of Ocean Viking’s Migrants – World

3 min read

In the end, France also made the selection: for 123 of the 234 migrants who landed in Toulon on the Ocean Viking, the “refusal of entry” was triggered. On the other hand, 26 minors have already disappeared – also disembarked from the Sos Mediterranee ship – who were hosted in a reception center in the south of the country. A big deal for the Elysée, under attack from the right and the entourage of President Emmanuel Macron returns to accuse the Italian government, speaking of a “vilain geste” (“ugly gesture”) in relation to the affair: but “the important thing – he adds – it is to continue the cooperation and not stop there”. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, for her part, convened a meeting in the afternoon to take stock with the deputy premiers Matteo Salvini and Antonio Tajani, the ministers of Interior and Defense, Matteo Piantedosi and Guido Crosetto, the undersecretary with responsibility for Intelligence, Alfredo Mantovano and the director of Dis, Elisabetta Belloni, also in view of the next European appointments, first and foremost the extraordinary meeting of EU interior ministers convened for 25 November. The arrival of the Ocean Viking thus continues to raise tension in France. The leader of the Rassemblement National, Marine Le Pen, attacks: “Our government is humiliated by the flight of 26 ‘minors’, everything is out of control”. The leader of Reconquete, the other right-wing party, Eric Zemmour, echoes her, ironically addressing his compliments to the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin: “234 migrants, 26 ‘minors’ have fled, 123 illegal immigrants released. Total: 149 are already vanished into nature in a week, or 64%”. After landing in Toulon, the 234 were taken to a holiday village in the Var department, in the south of France, transformed into an extraterritorial “waiting centre” from which, at least in theory, they could not have left. The 189 adults were all questioned by the Office for the Protection of Refugees (Ofpra), which refused access to French territory to 123. Instead, 66 people were admitted. In the meantime, however, it seems that only 12 remained inside the Center. And Paris raises its voice with Italy, while assuring that collaboration between the two countries will not stop. “But the people who landed in Toulon will be deducted from the number we welcome this year for solidarity with Italy”, announced by the Elysée. The Voluntary Mechanism had so far resulted in the transfer of only 38 asylum seekers to France. In recent days Darmanin had announced the total suspension of the reception of refugees who arrived in Italy, inviting the other states to do the same. Beyond the words, today’s French one therefore seems to be a sign of de-escalation along the road to a normalization of relations between the two countries hoped for by the head of state Sergio Mattarella. The migrant issue was also examined in this afternoon’s meeting in the Chamber chaired by Meloni. Mantovano and Belloni also put on the table the information from the 007s on the difficult situation of the countries of origin of the flows, Libya in primis, but also Tunisia and Egypt. Therefore, the position to bring to the European tables needs to be defined, taking advantage of the fact that the uproar on the subject in recent weeks has served to place it on the agenda and the Commission is working on an Action Plan on the matter which could see light in days. “Italy – according to Piantedosi – has brought the proper attention of European organizations back. The migratory dream of young people from Africa must be managed by us and by the countries they come from, not by traffickers”. This will be discussed at the extraordinary Council meeting on the 25th in Brussels and the debate, the Czech presidency of the Union informs us, “will not be limited to a single ship but on migration in the broadest sense, the one that develops through various routes such as the Balkans and Eastern European countries could underline the threat of a huge new wave of migration from Ukraine.” In this regard, Minister Crosetto in recent days has hypothesized a flow that could swell up to 7-10 million “winter migrants”, Ukrainians who will not have the opportunity to warm up due to the damage to infrastructure caused by Russian bombing and therefore will attempt the escape from your country.