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  • Rescue ship 'Alan Kurdi' waits in international waters off Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea, Sep. 4, 2019.

    Rescue ship 'Alan Kurdi' waits in international waters off Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea, Sep. 4, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 September 2019
Opinion

The appointment of a new Interior Minister was not intended to depoliticize the issue of migration, local media stated.

Italy’s Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese confirmed Friday that the “Ports Closed” policy remains in force, although the far-right politician Matteo Salvini is no longer part of the new ruling coalition.

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This comes as the rescue vessel 'Alan Kurdi', which is currently waiting off Malta with Tunisian migrants rescued at the Mediterranean sea, has not been authorized to enter Italian ports.

"We asked the Interior Ministry whether, now that Italy has a new government, the so-called Salvini decree is still valid. And, in the late morning, the Ministry confirmed this," a Sea-Eye spokesperson told Il Messaggiero.

While the government lead by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has a more “humanitarian” appearance, continuity of migration policies was predictable, as pointed out by The National on Thursday.

“Ms. Lamorgese, an independent political operator, could hardly be more different than her right-win predecessor," the Middle Eastern outlet held and added that she is one of the most senior civil servants in the Interior Ministry.

“She knows the machinery extremely well,” Francesco Galietti, a political risk consultant told The National, stressing that “her appointment was not intended to completely depoliticize the issue of migration.”

On Friday, in the context of a government change that was not accompanied by a shift in attitude towards migrants, three Tunisians were transferred to Malta from the 'Alan Kurdi' due to medical complications. 

They are part of a group of 13 people who were rescued on Aug.31 from a small overloaded wooden craft in the Mediterranean. The German NGO Sea-Eye recalled and reported that the mood of the rescued people on board became increasingly worse, with the migrants sleeping on deck in a metal container.

The 'Alan Kurdi' vessel, named after a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean four years ago, remains outside Maltese territorial waters and is still waiting for instructions.

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