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Sánchez launches message to the EU by welcoming migrants rejected by Italy

The decision was not on the agenda of the Government, which reacted to the disappointment that has caused the situation of more than 600 immigrants aboard the Aquarius

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Sánchez launches message to the EU by welcoming migrants rejected by Italy

It was not envisaged that first measure of impact of President of Government, socialist Pedro Sánchez, was related to crisis of refugees. But misfortune of 629 immigrants who remain aboard Aquarius boat without Italy or Malta wanting to welcome m has caused Sanchez to offer port of Valencia for "humanitarian reasons". With this decision Spanish President makes his presentation as ruler before Europe with an action with which he wants to claim to members defense of values that must characterize EU, like solidarity.

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It was inevitable that decision of head of Spanish government to offer port of Valencia to welcome more than 600 immigrants that Italy and Malta have refused to remember, saving all distances, to order to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq in 2004. On that occasion, n newly elected President of government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, had meditated several days in advance and quietly announced to countries concerned too.

This time decision was not on agenda of Government, but this reacted to disappointment that has caused in much of Europe and Spain situation of more than 600 immigrants aboard Aquarius without safe port to go and abandoned to ir fate. This decision would mean a salvo to EU's immigration policy and a reminder of values that illuminated birth of this space of freedoms and coexistence, according to government sources. Even so, president wants this policy to be agreed, although in this case he has been compelled to go alone to exceptionality and danger to lives of people, se interlocutors point out.

Once again, NGOs, in this case Médecins Sin frontières (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée, did ir job in rescuing 629 immigrants, but y found rejection of Italy, guided by action of ir new populist government, and Malta, which has never accepted Welcome of immigrants. Since Sunday Sanchez was following with utmost attention status of Aquarius. In finding out yesterday that situation was mired began to assess possibility of offering a Spanish port.

He spoke with his most direct collaborators, with foreign minister, Josep Borrell, and with Vice-President of government, Carmen Calvo, who will coordinate entire operation. After two o'clock in afternoon, presidency of Government issued a communiqué with announcement, although before President of Valencian Community, Ximo Puig, informed of decision after meeting it by Vice-President of Government. "It is our duty to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe" and to offer a "safe harbor" to se people, in compliance with rules of international law, Spanish government said. The president stressed it in his Twitter account: "We meet our international commitments on humanitarian crises."

It is not trivial message that Sanchez wants to send when referring to international commitments. To m and humanitarian reasons new government appeals to have acted in this case, but with conviction that re should be coordinated action in Europe. And so will Sánchez in European Council to be held in two weeks. Each country should not act on its own, but it must be made aware that some people are touched on one occasion and ors in anor. "Before it was Greece, now Italy, n it can be Spain," said Minister Josep Borrell when he asked for joint solutions for a "problem that is all." It is and that is why Pedro Sanchez wants this to be his business card to his European partners.

In ir environment y assure that y will be belligerent in defending involvement of all partner countries. In Moncloa are aware that entry of irregularly-shaped immigrants in Spain is growing. In 2018, 10,639 people entered irregularly by sea and land (by Ceuta and Melilla), while previous year were 6,852.

Effect called

The prospects that attempts at entry by Spain to follow this upward line are as far as possible, although now busiest is that of central Mediterranean, from Libya to Italy, and n from Turkey to Greece. The one that leads to Spain, although it still does not reach figures of first one, is highly deadly, as all experts point out and indicate figures. In this context, President of Government met on 1 June with organizations and NGOs to help refugees who exposed him " human drama" that migrants are forced to ask for shelter or asylum.

This reality has been taken into account by head of government to make solo decision to host 629 migrants but is framed in a context of exceptionality, according to sources of executive. Sanchez has not hesitated to make this decision, but is also aware that it can serve as a "call effect," so urgirá community members to have coordinated action. That is why it has avoided direct criticism of Italy or Malta, even if it does not have slightest affinity with new Italian government.

Sanchez recalls that Italy, and before Greece, left m alone. "There was no solidarity with m," Minister Josep Borrell recalled yesterday. "I don't know what procedure will be followed but at least y won't drown," he concluded when he was required for details. The Basque, Extremadura and Balearic governments, as well as city councils of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, have offered to welcome some of immigrants.


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