According to the Maritime Prefecture, Ocean Viking arrived at the docks in France at around 8:50 a.m., after three weeks of wandering in Italy in search of a safe harbor. This is the first landing in France of an ambulance ship rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean. Criticizing the Italian authorities’ refusal to give it a safe harbour, France agreed to welcome the ship chartered by the NGO SOS Mediterranei and partnered with the International Federation of the Red Cross as part of “a duty to humanity”. French Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin announced on Thursday. SOS Mediterrene spokesman Merrill Sotti told AFP that a French doctor was on board before the ship docked. “The landings will begin with people with particular vulnerabilities established first by French doctors, then by women, children and families,” he said. These people will be immediately placed in the “international waiting area”. Outside the military port, an AFP journalist saw buses approaching the port.
Former presidential candidate Eric Gemor was there on Friday. Hours after the arrival of some 230 migrants, the president of Reconquet spoke in front of the camera. “We are facing a very serious incident,” he said, condemning “a reprehensible decision by Emmanuel Macron”. “This boat had no business there and these migrants had no business on this boat,” he continued.
“It’s a reprehensible decision! What do we want? That the whole of Europe becomes Africa?”, Eric Zemor said, adding that it is reprehensible that migrants have been put “in a luxurious holiday centre”. “We have passed a new stage: the government must protect its people from migrant submergence and the President of the Republic does not (…) the government must send migrants back to their homes”, he concluded. ,
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