The Spanish Coast Guard has rescued another 769 people migrating across the Mediterranean Sea from Sub-Saharan Africa in dinghies, wooden rafts and canoes, many in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Last week, Spain accepted 630 people rescued on the aid ship Aquarius after it was refused entry by Italian ports. In response to criticism, Italian authorities simply reiterated that its ports would be closed to aid vessels carrying rescued migrants.
Most of the rescued leave from Libya, where traffickers help them board makeshift boats to embark on the dangerous journey to Europe. Ships regularly capsize, and it is unknown exactly how many people have drowned in the process.
Spain has taken a softer approach to immigrants arriving from Africa, since the new center-left government of Pedro Sanchez came to power.
Italy, on the other hand, has cracked down on arrivals. Italian far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said migrants would only see Italy “on a postcard.”
Italy on Saturday said “arrogant” France risked becoming its “No.1 enemy” on immigration issues, a day before European leaders convene in Brussels for a hastily arranged meeting on the topic.