Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/24 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/24 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/23 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/23 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/23 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/21 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/21 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/23 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/23 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/23 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/21 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/23 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/23 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

France to grant asylum to 80 Aquarius migrants

media Migrants disembark from the Aquarius rescue ship after arriving to port in Valencia, Spain on 17 June 2018. Kenny Karpov/SOS Mediterranee/Handout via Reuters

France will grant asylum to around 80 refugees from the Aquarius rescue vessel which was at the centre of a bitter European dispute over migration last month, the country's asylum office said on Tuesday.

French officials interviewed 135 of the mainly African migrants aboard the charity boat that was left adrift in the Mediterranean after being turned away by Italy and Malta before being accepted by Spain.

Of the 135 who were screened in Spain, "around 80 will benefit from France's protection," Pascal Brice, head of the Ofpra asylum office said.

France will also grant asylum to 52 people rescued by the German charity boat Lifeline last month, which was also stranded for days last month after picking up migrants in distress off the Libyan coast.

That ship carrying more than 230 people aboard was eventually allowed to dock in Malta.

The row over who should take in the Aquarius -- which was carrying a total of 630 people rescued from smuggler boats off Libya -- came to symbolise the deep discord in Europe over how to share responsibility for the thousands of migrants that have landed on Europe's shores since 2015.

French President Emmanuel Macron was criticised for not offering safe haven to the Aquarius while heaping criticism on Italy's new populist government for what he called its "irresponsibility" in turning the ship away.

Brice said among the 135 Aquarius migrants interviewed, mostly Eritreans and Sudanese, several decided to stay in Spain.

Besides the French team on site, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal also sent officials to evaluate asylum requests, underscoring a "European dimension" that could be a model for the bloc, Brice said.

At an EU summit last Friday the bloc's 28 members agreed to consider setting up "disembarkation platforms", most likely in North Africa, in a bid to discourage migrants and refugees boarding EU-bound smuggler boats.

(with AFP)

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.