Comment EU countries and sea rescue: misanthropic nonsense

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Comment EU countries and sea rescue

Are there any alternatives for putting up rescue vessels in the ports of Lampedusa and Malta? No – because Libya is not and will not be a safe third country.

The only solution to ending dying in the Mediterranean is to open European ports Photo: ap

Since the public arrest of Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete, half of Europe has been discussing sea rescue in the Mediterranean. Italy's tight-lipped interior minister Matteo Salvini prohibits rescue vessels from mooring in the port of the Italian island of Lampedusa, and Malta's ports are also being shut down for people's lifeboats. Already voices are loud, there are alternatives. Finally, the survivors can be brought back to Libya or to the respective home port of the ships. But that's misanthropic nonsense.

People rescued from distress can not be brought to Libya with a clear conscience – even if the boat has fallen into distress near the Libyan coast. This is a realization that has not existed for only a week. Civil war has been going on in the North African country for years. From other countries refugees are housed in camps, tortured or enslaved.

Even if some Europeans still do not adhere to it and want to block the Libyan coast if possible, so that no people from the country make their way across the Mediterranean towards Europe: Libya is not a safe third country. This was also made clear last week, when at least 40 people were killed in an air raid on a migrant detention center.

The 65 rescued from the German rescue ship “Alan Kurdi” arrived on Sunday in Malta. 62 of them were handed over to a Maltese patrol boat and landed in Malta in the evening, Malta's army said. Three refugees, who urgently needed medical help, were therefore already brought by air transport.

The 65 people are to be distributed immediately to other European countries, as the government in Valletta had previously announced after talks with the EU Commission and Germany.

The “Alan Kurdi” had spent days wandering the Mediterranean Sea. Italy did not want to leave the 65 people rescued by a crowded rubber dinghy off the Libyan coast. Also Malta had initially blocked. On board, the situation came to a head. (AP)

Then the sea rescue service with their ships just go to Spain or even to Kiel, in the home port of each ship? After all, the “Sea-Watch 3” was under Carola Rackete's command for two weeks on the open sea. The difference between waiting several days in front of Lampedusa and circumnavigating Europe is obvious: the captains expect a human policy on the part of the EU to take in rescued, possibly traumatized people and are therefore heading for the next accessible port in Europe. Anyone who has looked at a map knows that Lampedusa and Malta are only a few hundred kilometers from the coast of Libya.

The only solution to stop the drowning in the Mediterranean is the opening of ports in Italy and Malta. The southern European countries do not even have to take in the rescued themselves. Many European cities have agreed to do so over the past few months. In Germany, 60 cities support the Seebrücke initiative “Safe harbors”. And even Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is now calling on Salvini, his reluctance to open the Italian ports to rethink.

(TagToTranslate) Mediterranean (t) Sea Rescue (t) Carola Rackete (t) Matteo Salvini (t) Horst Seehofer (t) Escape (t) Europe (t) Politics (t) Focus (t) taz (t) tageszeitung

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