Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) calls for a resumption of state-organized maritime rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean. "Surely it would be good, we would have today again a mission Sophia and state ships that would save," said Merkel on Thursday evening in Berlin at a reception for the tattoo for former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Lifeboat rescue is just as necessary as the fight against smugglers.
Since 2015, tens of thousands of people from the Mediterranean have been rescued as part of the European rescue service Sophia. The migrants rescued off the coast of Libya were brought to Italy, more than 22,500 of the total of 50,000 by the German Navy. A few months ago, the mission, which had been resisted by Italy in particular, was discontinued. Germany had not been able to assert itself with the demand for a continuation of the sea rescue at EU level.
In July, at an EU meeting in Helsinki, Germany and France tried to launch a common scheme for the distribution of migrants. Italy's right-wing populist Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini criticized the intended distribution of boat refugees. The "meeting wanted by Frenchmen and Germans" to the migration was "a flop", said Salvini. It has just been repeated "that Italy should continue to be the refugee camp of Europe".