No one with a heart will be indifferent when thousands drown on the way to Europe.

It is not possible to check whether the figures that an aid organization has now presented for Spain are correct, because one does not know in detail what is happening on the high seas.

But there is no doubt that especially the number of crossings to the Canary Islands has been increasing for a long time, and there ship accidents are more likely due to the dangerous seas.

So the problem is no longer limited to the Mediterranean, which Pope Francis recently called “Europe's largest cemetery”.

Unfortunately, the EU has not yet found a halfway viable approach to end this ongoing tragedy.

The guerrilla war between the southerners and private sea rescuers misses the point.

There is no European policy that would prevent people from going on the dangerous journey in the first place.

All diplomatic efforts by the EU and its member states, not least Germany, should be directed towards cooperation with the countries of origin and transit countries.

And in the EU itself a start should be made on reducing the incentives for irregular immigration that exist in the local asylum and social systems.

The dead off Europe's coasts are also a result of the continent's political disagreement on these issues.