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Migrant rescue ship captains could face $57,000 fines in Italian crackdown

Christian Fernsby |
Migrant rescue ships docking in Italy without authorization could soon face fines of up to $57,000.

Under the decree promoted by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini the captain, owner and operator of vessels entering Italian waters without authorization will face fines of between €10,000 ($11,300) and €50,000 ($57,000), the politician told reporters after it was adopted on Tuesday.

Salvini, who swept into office on the back of his anti-migrant policies, did not mention migrant rescue ships specifically.

But the decree is a clear attempt to deter such vessels which pluck thousands of migrants from the Mediterranean each year from docking in Italian ports.

The decree added that vessels repeatedly entering Italian waters without authorization would be impounded.

The decree will now go before Parliament for final signoff. But with Salvini's far-right League party and its coalition partner the Five Star Movement holding a majority, it is likely to pass easily.

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