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Spain offers to host the ' Aquarius ' boat in Valencia for humanitarian reasons

It is our duty to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, says Pedro Sánchez. On the boat have not received any notification that we have a safe port

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Spain offers to host the ' Aquarius ' boat in Valencia for humanitarian reasons
En Español
  • Spain to offer "safe port" for ' Aquarius ' migrant rescue ship in Valencia

The President of government, Pedro Sánchez, has given instructions for Spain to host in port of Valencia Aquarius boat, which sails Mediterranean with more than 600 immigrants and refugees rescued by Médecins Sin Frontières (MSF) and Sos Mediterranée, Abandoned to ir fate after preventing ir entry to Italy new minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini. However, no one has notified captain of ship and NGOs re present that ir destination is Valencia. The trip is about 700 nautical miles, about three days and, according to calculations of those responsible for boat, do not have food for so long, so we would have to collect supplies in anor port on way to Valencia. The ship is still standing.

"It is our duty to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and provide a safe port for se people, thus complying with obligations of international law," Sánchez said in a note released by presidency. Moments before knowing communiqué, President of Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has assured that Government of Spain has offered UN Valencia as "safe harbor" and that had been said vice president of government, Carmen Calvo, reports Elsa García de Blas.

However, Aquarius ensures that more than 600 migrants cannot travel to Valencia. Sánchez ' proposal has reached ship at night from a Spanish maritime coordination centre with direct knowledge of its Roma counterparts. The captain, Oleksandr Kuzmichov and chief rescue coordinator of ship, Nicola Stalla, have decided that "in current circumstances we cannot go to Spain because it is to put at risk ship, crew and rescued people", as explained in this Last. And so it has been made known to Spanish authorities by official channels.

More information
  • Restlessness looms among migrants in limbo aboard ' Aquarius '
  • 600 people looking for a port

The refusal is due to boat being overloaded and because wear conditions are going to get worse in next few days. Stalla has added that only one could make trip with a very limited number of people because it requires that everyone sleep in satin and that are around a hundred besides more than 30 crewmen. Valencia is 700 nautical miles from point where Aquarius is standing. Arriving in a straight line requires three days.

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, offered throughout Monday to host in ir respective cities to 629 immigrants because, in words of Colau, "First of all you have to save human lives", a goal for which he has asked for Cola To Spanish government. Ribó has recalled condition of Valencia as "refuge City" and has considered "absolutely inhumane to leave a boat adrift in that situation."

In video, Mónica Oltra, Valencian Vice-President, offers ' Aquarius ' to disembark in Valencia. Efe

The Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu has also announced Basque Government's willingness to receive some 60 people from more than 600 who travel in Aquarius, for "human dignity and respect for human rights". The president of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, has offered to government to collaborate in reception providing "services and reception resources". And President of Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, has also been prepared to allow islands to welcome part of refugees for "solidarity and commitment".

Borrell calls for a coordinated response from Europe

The foreign minister, Josep Borrell, who for five years was a member of European Parliament, insisted on need for a common and coordinated response from European Union to arrival of immigrants. For him, government's decision to let Aquarius dock at port of Valencia is a "symbolic act, effective, which aims to highlight next European Council need to once and for all confront us in a common and coordinated form or n problem that is of all. "

Speaking to media, upon his arrival in an act of homage to Manuel Marín, Borrell emphasized that resolution — personally adopted by Sanchez, as he indicated — marks a change in responses to arrival of immigrants to Europe. "With that decision Spanish Government, and in particular President, has broken an attitude a bit of looking or way," he riveted, reports Helena Poncini.

The Minister of Labor, Magdalena Valerio, on her arrival at same event, has described Sanchez's decision as "magnificent". "I think president has been very successful at this time of humanitarian crisis," he said. The also responsible for migrations has ensured that all ministries involved in operation are coordinated.

Colau: "We can't look or way"

Ada Colau has made an offer to welcome migrants in Barcelona when y have asked him about this issue at a new Economy forum informative breakfast, where he had previously regretted situation of those who travel on that ship. The mayor has reaffirmed obligation to "not look or way" and to address humanitarian issues. "Cities want to meet human rights. Barcelona and Madrid are already hosting with ir own resources and we want to do well, we want to organize with or cities and with Government of Spain, "he said.

Colau has asked EU for immigration phenomenon because, he said, "People also come," fleeing "from despair and horror." "Instead of serving m well, you lose a lot of money on border policies that fail," he lamented. He has also criticized that while refugees struggle for ir lives, governments "look away" and make "deeply racist and immoral" decisions. "If we believe Europe is time to prove it," warned Colau, to point that Spain is failing to comply with all asylum commitments and is leaving cities "alone", in reference to own funds that both Madrid and Barcelona are destined to serve se people.

Citizens: "A democratic country has to take over"

Several political parties have reacted this Monday to Aquarius. The president of PP in Barcelona, Alberto Fernandez, has criticized Ada Colau for "effect called" that can provoke proposal of welcome. In a statement, he has asked mayor to "stop using or people's pain for ir own partisan use. First evicted, n refugees and now wants to do same. " He has also recalled that he does not have skills to decide wher boat can moor in Barcelona. "The host capacity in Barcelona is limited, and in addition city has unattended or with a deficit response to many people and families," says Fernandez, who is committed to ensuring peace and progress in countries of origin of immigrants and fighting Against Mafia.

From citizens believe that Spain should host ship. "A democratic country has to take over" because "we can't let hundreds of people die at sea," say party sources. But, y warn, you can't "normalize exceptions." Rivera's training calls for a common solution to "a European crisis": it must be Community institutions with common rules that manage crisis in a coordinated manner. The solution, y add, cannot depend on what a country decides on its own because it "gives reason to populists who want to go on ir own."

The deputy spokesman of United we can in Congress and immigration spokesman of Confederal Group, Ione Belarra, has been "satisfied" that government of Pedro Sanchez decided to host in Valencia to boat and has recalled that "much remains to be done" in Issue of Migrations.


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