Wednesday November 29, 2023

German migrant rescue ships give off 'invasion vibes': Musk

Published : 30 Sep 2023, 23:33

  DF News Desk
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. File Photo: Patrick Pleul/Zentralbild/POOL/dpa.

Elon Musk caught the attention of the German Foreign Office with a post on his social media platform X about migrant rescues by aid groups in the Mediterranean Sea, a practice Musk says "has invasion vibes," reported dpa.

The tech billionaire reposted criticism of the humanitarian efforts from another X user, who had written that "subsidized" German rescue ships were "collecting illegal immigrants to be unloaded in Italy."

Musk queried on Friday: "Does the German public know about this?"

The German Foreign Office promptly responded via its English-language X account: "Yes. And it's called saving lives."

Musk fired back: "So you’re actually proud of it. Interesting. Frankly, I doubt that a majority of the German public supports this. Have you run a poll? Surely it is a violation of the sovereignty of Italy for Germany to transport vast numbers of illegal immigrants to Italian soil? Has invasion vibes..."

Musk's comments come amid a spat between the governments in Rome and Berlin over the German-funded ships.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed surprise this week over German financial aid for civilian sea rescue organizations.

Rome considers German government support for aid organizations that look after migrants on Italian soil to be interference in its domestic affairs.

Berlin pointed out that this support was implementing a decision taken by parliament.

The first tranche of money - between €400,000-€800,000 - is to be disbursed to a project for care operations on land and a project for rescue at sea. One of the organizations receiving the funds is SOS Humanity, which runs migrant rescue boats on the Mediterranean Sea.

The small Italian island of Lampedusa, located between Sicily and North Africa, has been a European migration hotspot for years. In mid-September, more than 5,000 people arrived in one single day.