“The number of deaths in the Mediterranean Sea is reaching levels not seen in years: from January to March of this year alone, 441 people drowned while fleeing to Europe. And these are only the confirmed cases, many more people are considered missing. Yet for weeks we have been observing people in distress at sea asking for help on an almost daily basis. The responsible agencies hear these requests for help, but respond with delay or ignore them completely,” said Clara Bünger, spokeswoman on refugee policy for the parliamentary group DIE LINKE (The Left).

Bünger continues: “This dying is no coincidence, but political intention. The European states are deliberately choosing not to save people who could still be alive today. Instead of working for a European solution, Italy is declaring a state of emergency under a fascist government. The German government must not continue to stand idly by. Neither the affected states nor the people seeking help must be left alone.

We urgently need a state-run sea rescue and safe escape routes so that no one has to drown anymore. The German government must no longer hide behind a ‘European solution’. Instead, there needs to be a summit of solidarity at which concrete measures, such as a German sea rescue to save people – including in the Mediterranean – are decided. This also includes that Transport Minister Wissing withdraws the planned tightening of the Ship Safety Ordinance, which will massively restrict civilian sea rescue. Our refugee law was the answer to the barbaric Nazi regime, which systematically killed people and prevented people from seeking protection. We must not allow systematic letting die in the EU or at its external borders.”

Press release by Clara Bünger, April 13, 2023