Italy criticizes Germany for funding migrant charities
The Italian defense minister on Sunday criticized Germany for its recent decision to fund the NGOs rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean and disembarking them on the Italian shore, Azernews reports, citing Yeni Safak.
Speaking to the Italian daily La Stampa, Defense Minister Guido Crosetto called the German move “very serious.”
“Berlin pretends not to realize that, in doing so, it causes difficulties to a country that in theory should be a friend,” he said.
Crosetto added: “It is the ideological approach of a certain political left that does not take into account the consequences of its theories on the people.”
He said that Italy remains resolute in combating the human smugglers, who he said should be treated as international criminals.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the German Foreign Ministry told Italy’s state-run ANSA news agency that saving people who drown and find themselves in distress at sea is a “legal, humanitarian and moral duty.”
On Sep. 22, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office voiced "great astonishment” at the news reported by ANSA, according to which a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry had announced imminent funding to NGOs for a project to assist migrants on Italian territory and a project of rescues at sea.
Later it became known that the NGO to receive the funding is SOS Humanity, which operates rescue vessels in the central Mediterranean. The NGO itself said it had been allocated €790,000 ($843,000).
Separately, the Catholic Sant’Egidio Community charity said on Friday it had signed a fresh deal with Berlin to fund migrant activities in Italy, as part of a years-long relationship.
The number of migrants landed in Italy so far this year has reached over 127,000 – more than double that of the same period in 2022. The majority have set off from Tunisia, where in July, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen signed a controversial deal to stem irregular migration.
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