Spain says Barcelona will
welcome migrant ship
MADRID (AP) — Spain says Barcelona will be the docking port for an aid boat that rescued 60 migrants in waters near Libya but was not allowed to land by both Italy and Malta.
A spokesman with the prime minister’s office said the Open Arms boat, run under Spanish flag by the Barcelona-based aid group Proactiva Open Arms, had the right to dock in the eastern city.
The spokesman, who wasn’t authorized to be named in media reports, said it would take four days for the boat to reach Barcelona.
The new Socialist government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is pressing other European Union nations to treat rescued migrants with dignity and in line with international law.
Spain has overtaken Italy this year in the number of migrants who have arrived on land and by sea.
Report: Merkel secures deal with
14 EU nations on migrants
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly secured agreements with 14 European Union countries to rapidly return some asylum seekers as she seeks to end a schism in her government over migration policy.
Merkel also says she also wants to establish “anchor centers” to process migrants at Germany’s borders, the dpa news agency reported Saturday.
The announcements came in a letter Merkel wrote to leaders of her Christian Democratic Union’s Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, as well as to her junior coalition government partner, the Social Democrats, after she attended a two-day EU summit in Brussels.
Merkel is seeking to end a three-week standoff with her hard-line Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who heads the CSU.
Seehofer, whose party faces a state election in the fall, has been threatening to turn away migrants at Germany’s border who have already been rejected by the country or who have registered for asylum elsewhere in the EU.
Merkel has rejected that approach, instead insisting on a European-wide solution to migration issues to preserve EU unity. The dispute has raised the possibility of an end to Germany’s decades-old conservative alliance between the CSU and Merkel’s CDU if Seehofer goes ahead with the unilateral move, which could bring down her government.