Italy's interior minister turns gaze to 'Roma question'

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On Sunday, 60 activists who marched from the French-Italian border town of Ventimiglia - a bottleneck for migrants travelling north - arrived in Paris where they joined around 2,000 protestors at a rally calling on Europe to do more to welcome migrants and refugees.

A convoy consisting of the aid ship Aquarius and two Italian military ships disembarked the passengers in Valencia, Spain on Sunday, a week after Italy and Malta had refused to give the Aquarius permission to dock.

Spain eventually took in the boat, with Salvini saying Italy would no longer automatically take in boat migrants, who have used Libya as a springboard in recent years to seek a richer, safer life in Europe.

Boats full of refugees and migrants continue to fearless the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean in search of safety.

The first of three ships transporting the group, an Italian coast guard vessel called the Datillo, pulled into Valencia harbour just before 6:30 am (0430 GMT) with 274 migrants on board, Red Cross said.

It will be followed by the Aquarius and another Italian navy ship, the Orione.

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The 930-mile journey across the Mediterranean from Sicily to Valencia took almost a week.

But Malta also refused, prompting Spain to step in and offer to take in the migrants.

"I have mixed feelings", he told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Although their specific number has not been given, the Nigerians were among the 31 nationalities rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by the Aquarius.

"Although the rescue and transfers of the 630 people were initiated and coordinated by the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the Italian authorities denied Aquarius authorisation to bring them ashore in the closest port of safety in Italy".

"They will be dealt with according to our laws, without exception", Spain's minister of public works, Jose Luis Abalos, said Saturday.

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The boatload of migrants that was forced to spend days crossing the western Mediterranean includes 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children and as many as seven pregnant women, according to Valencia's regional authorities.

The Spanish coast guard said it rescued over 1,400 migrants between Friday and Sunday who were trying to reach Spain, the third busiest gateway for migrants into Europe after Italy and Greece.

France, which chided Italy for turning away the Aquarius, has offered to take in any passengers who qualify for asylum and want to go there.

Italy's rejection of the Aquarius prompted a spat with France, while the issue of immigration has triggered a political row in Germany.

While several European Union nations have adopted a harder line against refugees, Spain's new Socialist government has announced a series of measures to help migrants since it came to power earlier this month, in a break with the policies of its conservative predecessor.

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