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Catalan government offers ports to welcome 49 refugees at sea for weeks

The people rescued by the Sea-Watch and Sea-Eye ships weren’t allowed to disembark in Italy or Malta and have been at sea for two weeks

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08 January 2019 09:20 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government offered up ports in Catalonia to welcome the 49 immigrants and refugees who have been at sea for over two weeks, waiting to be accepted.

There are 32 and 17 individuals on the Sea-Watch and Sea-Eye NGO vessels, respectively, the majority coming from sub-Saharan Africa, Libya, and Egypt.

For the moment, no European member state has agreed to accept them and Italy and Malta, the closest to where the vessels are located, have not offered for them to dock on their shores.

The European Commission said on Monday to member states that “more solidarity is needed” to manage the welcome of people rescued at sea, along with an “urgent, sustainable, and foreseeable” solution.

The Catalan department of Foreign Action communicated Catalonia’s will to offer a safe port to the two ships to the Spanish government, and is now waiting on the executive’s response. 

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  • The Sea-Watch 3 vessel, operated by German NGO Sea-Watch near Malta on January 4 2018 (image courtesy of REUTERS, by Darrin Zammit Lupi)

  • The Sea-Watch 3 vessel, operated by German NGO Sea-Watch near Malta on January 4 2018 (image courtesy of REUTERS, by Darrin Zammit Lupi)