Rome strikes deal with five EU nations over stranded migrants

Italy said on Wednesday it would allow an Italian coastguard ship to finally disembark 116 migrants who were stranded for days in a Sicilian port, ending its latest standoff with the European Union over migration policy.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he had reached a deal with the EU for Germany, France, Portugal, Luxembourg and Ireland to take in the asylum seekers who were rescued at sea last week.

The Bruno Gregoretti coastguard ship was given permission to dock but not to disembark in the Sicilian port of Augusta last weekend. Sicilian authorities opened an investigation into the welfare of the migrants it carried, and medical staff allowed to tour the ship found that the 116 people on board had to share a single toilet.

While children and those considered vulnerable were allowed to disembark earlier this week, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini had refused to allow the others to leave the ship until other European countries offered to take them in.