The Spanish government has authorized the Catalan NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue ship to dock at Barcelona. It was left stranded around 40 miles off the coast of Libya carrying 59 rescued migrants. The boat is expected to arrive in Catalonia on Wednesday. It has just enough fuel to be able to make it.
According to the NGO, Italian and Maltese maritime authorities have not allowed it to come to their ports to drop off the migrants, so they asked the Spanish government for permission.
Ada Colau, the Barcelona mayor, has said the city will welcome them “with open arms.”
“Once they are here, we will see to it they are looked after the best, and we will do everything possible so they don’t end up in detention centres,” she said. At the same time, Colau pointed out that Barcelona has already welcomed nearly 500 migrants in the last 15 days, mainly arriving in the coastal area of Andalusia.
The Open Arms boat has the support of the Astral, in which four MEPs are following the rescue closely.