Italy has dispatched two ships to help take 629 migrants stuck off its shores to Spain after the new populist government refused them safe port in a bid to force Europe to share the burden of unrelenting arrivals. The rescue ship Aquarius has been stuck since Saturday in international waters off the coast of Italy and Malta, both of which have refused it entry. The ship is carrying 629 migrants including 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children and six pregnant women.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told the United Nations on Monday that Gibraltar was ready to work with Spain’s new Socialist government for the mutual benefit of citizens on both sides of the border. This, he underscored, did not deviate from Gibraltar’s cast-iron position on sovereignty and the principle of self-determination.
Spain will welcome a ship with 629 migrants aboard after Italy and Malta refused to let the vessel dock in their ports. The migrants were saved by the French charity SOS Mediterranee on Saturday and were stranded in the Mediterranean Sea when Matteo Salvini, the new Italian interior minister, reportedly refused to allow the vessel to dock at Italian ports.
Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has given 11 of his 17 cabinet posts to women, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe. A self-styled feminist, Sánchez' choice was in marked contrast to the male-dominated executives of ex-PM Mariano Rajoy, ousted last week.
Spanish lawmakers have agreed to subject Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to a vote of no confidence this week. It comes in the wake of graft convictions of businesspeople and officials tied to his conservative Popular Party (PP).
Spanish opposition parties have launched a fierce campaign to end the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy after courts ruled that his Partido Popular profited from a large kickbacks-for-contracts scheme. The Socialist opposition announced a vote of no confidence against the prime minister with the backing of anti-establishment and left-wing parties, while the pro-business Ciudadanos (Citizens) – which had supported the conservative minority government until now – urged Mr Rajoy to call a fresh election.