Spain agrees to take Open Arms migrants and Italy refuses


The Spanish rescue vessel Open Arms off the coast of Lampedusa. Photo: Alessandro Serrano/AFP

Spain’s government offered on Sunday to take in the charity vessel Open Arms with more than 100 migrants on board because of Italy’s “inconceivable” refusal to allow it to dock.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez “today ordered the port of Algeciras to be ready to receive the boat Open Arms,” which is currently in limbo off the Italian island of Lampedusa, his office said in a statement.


It cited the “urgent situation” on the vessel and the “inconceivable decision by the Italian authorities… to close all its ports” to the migrants.