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The decision by the Italian ministry of transport ordering the port of Lampedusa to allow the Open Arms to disembark should be the beginning of the end of the migrant rescue ship's crisis after two interminable weeks adrift. Portents of violence, threats of suicide and the danger that passengers might start to take their chances and throw themselves overboard were key in a decision in which Italian justice had to intervene and which may end up precipitating a government crisis if the interior minister, Mateo Salvini, maintains his belligerent position.

Although the focus is on Italy, nobody is exempted from the shameful attitude adopted by European countries and, in particular, those on the Mediterranean, since the drama has taken place off their coastlines. It is very easy to concentrate on Italy and look aghast at a minister as dangerous as Salvini. None of this, however, is any excuse for Spain, which right from the start turned a blind eye to the problem. How distant seem the promises made last year by the incoming Socialist government and the criticisms of Mariano Rajoy for doing exactly what Pedro Sánchez is replicating today. What can be said now about that order which the Sánchez administration gave a year ago to receive the rescue ship Aquarius in Valencia, with 630 immigrants on board, just after the Socialists entered government?

Hours before the decision of the Italian ministry, the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, had demanded immediate action to bring the occupants of the Open Arms ashore, alleging that it was a humanitarian emergency. Those who are speaking up are the figures who do not have executive responsibilities, while those who have shut up are the ones with the power to do something. This is usually the way it goes. It is easier for politicians to disregard their obligations and, on the contrary, comment on the duties of others which are not within their competence. Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has just come back from holiday and her first message has been about the Open Arms, not about the current Barcelona street violence situation which according to her deputy mayor for law and order, Albert Batlle, is a crisis and according to Colau herself consists of sporadic acts.

Governing means more than just looking sideways when there is a problem, whether it is in the Mediterranean or in Barcelona.