Italy’s outgoing interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has banned another migrant-rescue ship from docking in the country, using the issue of immigration to pile pressure on his main two political rivals as they seek to form a new government.
Salvini, who leads the League party, issued a decree banning the Alan Kurdi ship, operated by the German Sea-Eye NGO, with 13 migrants abroad, from entering Italian waters, the second time in a week that he has acted to prevent rescue ships bringing migrants ashore.
Italy’s coalition government between Salvini’s right-wing League and 5-Star Movement broke down last month when in a sudden move Salvini declared it dead and called for elections.
Last week, Italy’s head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, asked Giuseppe Conte to head up a coalition of 5-Star and opposition Democratic Party.
Salvini, trying to drive a wedge between the 5-Star Movement and the opposition center-left Democratic Party, said at the weekend that the new coalition would end his ban on migrant boats arriving from Africa.
Another ship, the Mare Jonio is stuck in sight of the Italian southern island of Lampedusa with 34 migrants left on board out of around 100 that were rescued on Wednesday off Libya.
Italy’s Salvini issues new migrant ban as seeks to derail new coalition