The German government has announced that it will not extend the Sophia mission because of the dispute with the Italian government over the reception of refugees. The mission has so far saved 45,000 people from drowning during their journey to the European Union. Last weekend, more than 100 people drowned. Ska Keller, Co-president of the Verts/ALE Group in the European Parliament and candidate of the European Greens for the European elections, comments:
"The German government must work for sea rescue in the Mediterranean Sea. We need a European rescue programme in which all states participate and in which the reception of refugees is regulated, so that responsibility is fairly shared. The Italian government's blockade and the inability of EU governments to reach agreement on the distribution of refugees have claimed many lives. EU governments must not close their eyes to humanitarian disaster and must open their own ports, receive refugees and provide them with legal means of landing in the European Union.
Here's the reaction of MEP Marco Affronte (the Greens\EFA)
"The war of childish mischief between the German government and the Italian government is a bad example of immaturity from both sides. It's a dirty game played at the expense of women and men in the flesh. It is time to stop treating these victims as bargaining chips, as culprits, as sub-humans. I would have expected a more mature reaction from Federica Mogherini, and instead she is lending herself to this cynical political game between Italy and Germany. The European Union must do more for migrants without yielding to the whims of individual Member States."