| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

Germany’s government and Elon Musk spar on X over maritime rescue ships

Elon Musk, the owner of X, came under fire from the German government after he criticized recent efforts by German humanitarian organizations to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
Musk published a video of migrants and humanitarian workers on a boat late on Friday. The populist far-right Alternative for Germany party, which has taken a harsh position on immigration issues, was hailed by the right-wing user that posted the content on X, formerly known as Twitter, in the first place.
Musk asked in his repost, “Is the German public aware of this?”

The German Federal Foreign Office replied to Musk directly on X, writing: “Yes. And it’s called saving lives.”

Musk responded that he doubted the German public supports the actions of non-governmental organizations that take asylum-seekers from unseaworthy vessels in the Mediterranean.

He also asserted it was “surely” a violation of Italy’s sovereignty for German-operated ships to bring rescued migrants to Italian territory.

“So, you’re actually proud of it. Interesting,” he wrote to the Foreign Office, adding that he thinks such maritime operations have “invasion vibes.”

The exchange comes as migration has returned to the political forefront in Germany and other European countries, with government officials and opposition politicians sparring about how best to handle an increasing number of arriving migrants.

Cities and communities across Germany have sounded an alarm , saying they are running out of room to accommodate them and to provide kindergarten and school places.

More than 220,000 people applied for asylum in Germany from January to August this year. In all of 2022, about 240,000 people applied for asylum.

In 2015-16, more than 1 million people applied for asylum in Germany.

  • alarabiya