The Work and Pensions Minister of Italy reiterated co-Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's message Italian ports will be shut for any more migrant ships travelling from Africa via the Mediterranean Sea. He claimed the two ships currently waiting to be accepted by a European member state should dock in Malta where the migrants can be seen from the coast.
Mr Di Maio claimed that once the stranded migrants will be accepted by the Maltese Government they will give Brussels a "slap on the wrist" and take ten women and children.
He said: “I think that these two boats that are so close to Malta that you can see them from the Maltese coast, should dock in Malta.
“On this, Italy - as we listened to the Maltese Ambassador and to the President of Malta - needs to put pressure on authorities so that they can dock in Malta as soon as possible.
“I also think the EU, who are still on holiday, and Malta, who have kept those boats there for days and days, should get a slap on the wrist. To rise above this we will then take ten women and children.