Meloni, who leads the post-fascist Brotherhood in Italy, blames the EU agency Frontex for the deadly debacle.
Frontex, the Italian border and coast guard agency, as well as the country’s financial police, have previously received harsh criticism in connection with the sinking.
But criticism is also growing against Italy’s far-right coalition that formed the government. Demands the resignation of Interior Minister Matteo Bentedosi.
No distress signals.
When Meloni responded to the criticism on Saturday, she again blamed Frontex.
– The situation is as simple as it is tragic: we have not received any emergency signals from Frontex. We did everything we could as soon as we became aware of the situation /…/ but we received no warning, she said.
Parallel to the political theatrics, a police investigation is underway as to why rescue efforts took so long to reach the ship carrying 200 migrants, which sank off Steccato on the coast of Calabria.
The disaster also sharpened the contradictions between the countries of the European Union, whose borders overlook the Mediterranean Sea, and the member states in the north, according to the Associated Press.
The five countries of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain met in the Maltese capital Caleta ahead of a ministerial meeting in Brussels on immigration next week. Responsible ministers from the five countries are calling for more EU countries to take responsibility for illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean from the North African coast.
Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarashi said that only one percent of those who arrived in Mediterranean countries are transferred to other EU countries under the EU’s voluntary migration programme.
– Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez said the current process is too slow, too selective, with too few results and also difficult to review.
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