The Spanish government denied on Monday it had agreed with Italy to disembark the 107 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean at a Spanish port in Mallorca, while reiterating its readiness to receive the migrants there.
Spanish rescue ship Open Arms said in a statement earlier the two countries appeared to have struck a deal for the Mallorca disembarking, which would add another three days to what has been a trying situation.
“The government denies the existence of any alleged deal with Italy,” it said in a statement.
“The only correct information is that the Spanish government had offered to Open Arms to head for the nearest Spanish port and that the Italian government is infringing the law by preventing the migrants from disembarking in Lampedusa.”
For more than two weeks, the migrants have been left floating off the Italian coast, caught between a tug of war between Italy’s far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s tough line on immigration and the EU´s initial reluctance to find a solution.
Open Arms said on Monday that disembarking in Mallorca would add another three days what has been a trying situation.
“If an agreement has indeed been reached, it’s essential for Italy and Spain to take responsibility for ensuring, by providing the necessary means, that these people finally disembark at a safe harbor,” the organisation said in a statement.
When contacted by Reuters on Monday, a senior official with the Spanish government declined to comment.