Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has accused Germany of using “extortion” in trying to find an agreement on how to distribute migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.
“There were abysmal signals from the German government,” the hardline leader told broadcaster Sky TG24 on Thursday.
Berlin had suggested in a letter that Germany would take in 30 migrants from the Italian coastguard vessel Gregoretti if Rome allowed 40 migrants from the German-run rescue ship Alan Kurdi to disembark in Italy, Salvini told the broadcaster.
The Alan Kurdi rescued the migrants near Libya this week and is currently south of the Italian island Lampedusa.
Salvini has banned the vessel from entering Italian waters.
A spokesman for Sea-Eye, the aid organisation that runs the Alan Kurdi, said the group would not violate the ban and hoped for a quick solution.
The spokesman added that conditions onboard were stable.
The Gregoretti, which carried more than 100 migrants, was blocked from entering Italian waters for days before several EU countries agreed to take in the occupants, including Germany.