French authorities over the weekend decided to tighten police control on their southeastern border with Italy. This decision was made after a diplomatic dispute between neighboring countries, caused by the refusal of the Italians to provide permission to moor the rescue ship Ocean Viking with migrants.
After the diplomatic row, France decided to send an additional 500 officers to carry out border checks at ten different border crossings with Italy.
Once this was done, the queues at the northern border crossing from the Italian side began to grow.
According to InfoMigrants, French Minister for European Affairs Laurence Boone called France's border with Italy “closed”. and promised to introduce passport checks, not only for those who cross the border in cars, but also for passengers of trains running between the two countries.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni, in turn, said that her country is no longer will be the first to allow entry into its territory of migrants who are then rescued by private rescue boats.
Shortly after Prime Minister Meloni made this announcement, the Italian authorities refused to accept four rescue boats carrying refugees. In the end, the migrants who were on three ships were landed ashore, and the fourth with 234 people on board — Ocean Viking — stuck at sea for three whole weeks and never received an “invitation”; to enter the port. “Viking” began to move away from Italian waters and headed for France.
On Thursday morning, the French Ministry of the Interior announced that it was giving permission for the rescue ship Ocean Viking to dock in Toulon, in the south of the country, and condemned Italy's decision. The French government regarded Italy's refusal to accept Ocean Viking as unacceptable.