Merkel and Kurz clash on renewing EU migrant ‘rescue missions’ in the Med.
Well, Sebastian Kurz cannot be trusted, but, like Andrej Babiš, he can be useful at times on migration, especially when he knows his voters at home demand it.
– Angela Merkel clashed with Sebastian Kurz on Monday during the latter’s visit to Berlin, disagreeing over renewing an EU ‘rescue mission’ to transfer migrants in the Mediterranean.
Kurz argued that Operation Sophia promoted human trafficking. Merkel said that EU vessels beholden to EU laws would be better than independent NGO boats.
* What did Merkel leave out about these EU vessels? They have a past and it was Matteo Salvini that effectively kicked them out of Italy. Why? Since its inception, Operation Sophia had “rescued” some 50,000 migrants from the sea. Salvini had seen enough!
One year ago, Ursula von der Leyen (Germany’s defense minister at the time) accused Salvini of sabotaging migration rescue missions in the central Mediterranean Sea.
Many may not have realized just how deep Germany was involved with migrant transfers to Italy before Salvini put an end to this practice in his own unique way.
According to von der Leyen, German forces “rescued” 22,000 migrants in the Mediterranean since the mission began in 2015.
This was not a German NGO, but the government of Germany working with Frontex.
But Salvini then took action to force Germany to abruptly suspend the deployment of a naval vessels.
Then Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Sophia’s Italian commanders had diverted German naval forces away from sea-rescue activity.
“The Italian command has sent our navy to the most far-flung corners of the Mediterranean Sea over the past nine months, where there are no smuggling routes and no routes for refugees,” von der Leyen told reporters in Davos, Switzerland. The German deployment “has had no sensible tasks for months.”
Nice move by Salvini. 😉
** Kurz is right on this one…keep the EU vessels grounded.