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26 August 2019 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 02:10 GMT+2



January 24, 2019

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The shipowning association European critic the decision of Germany to withdraw itself from the Sophia operation

Express regret also from the German shipowners

The association of the European shipowners has expressed regret for the decision of Germany to withdraw itself from the Sophia operation because of the dispute with the Italian government on the acceptance of the refugees. The operation Sophia - European Union Naval Force in the South Central Mediterranean, EUNAVFOR Med - is lead by Italy and has as main objective to adopt systematic measures in order out of service to characterize, to stop and to put the boats and means used or suspected of being used from the dealers of human beings in the central Mediterranean. The within of the operation includes also the training of Guard Costiera and Libyan Marina and the contribution to the operations of embargo to the weapons in agreement to the Resolution from the United Nations.

"We are - the general secretary of the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA, Martin Dorsman has explained - a lot disappointed by the decision of Germany to suspend its participation to the Sophia operation. The contribution of the Sophia operation to marine safety in the central Mediterranean is a lot important". Dorsman has emphasized that "it has been an important reduction of the number of crosswalks of migrants that can be attributed to the operation Sophia EUNAVFOR, than meanwhile has lead a greater percentage of rescue operations".

"the EU - it has added Dorsman - must act immediately and supply concrete solutions. The European Member States would have to put aside the controversies and to decide as facing the issue of the refugees aids in the Mediterranean. The shipowners will comply to the international conventions and will honor their obligations lawyers to assist the people in difficulty in the Mediterranean. However - it has specified the general secretary of the ECSA - this does not have to become part of the solution. The ECSA invites the EU to resolve the controversy and restates the auspice that the Sophia operation continues after March 2019, current expiration date of the mandate".

Arrest warrant of the mission that instead is wished by the minister of the Italian Inside, Matteo Salvini, second which a "international mission, undersigned from the governments of the Pd, than discharge in Italy, and only in Italy, tens of thousands of clandestines, does not have some sense". Salvini has remembered that from six months the Italian government asks a variation for the rules of the mission instituted in 2015 because - he has asserted - "in the rules of this mission - "international" only on paper - there is the fact that all the immigrants collected aids and had to disembark in Italy". Rule on disembarks that - with the exception of this supported from the minister - however at all it is not defined neither included in the mandate the military operation of European safety Sophia. Salvini would have, at the most, to contest the hypocrisy of the European Council not to have specific in the mandate assigned to the mission as to manage it disembarks to it of the people helped in sea, disembarks that evidently, be a matter itself of a mission carried out in waters of the central Mediterranean in order to contrast a traffic of human beings in departure from the coasts Africans, and in particular Libyan, they cannot that to happen in the nearer ports, that is firstly in Italy and to Malta.

An alarm for the withdrawal of Germany from the Sophia mission has been launch from the same German shipowners. "Deeply we are afflicted - the managing director of the Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR has declared), Ralf Nagel, for the decision assumed from the federal government. On one side, it is comprehensible that, to light of the current method of employment, German Marina desire for the moment to withdraw itself. From the other, however, if the military ships do not carry out more missions than aid because the refugees cannot disembark in safety aids, because he expects to us that the crews and the ships of the merchant navy tackle to this situation"

"the EU - it has added Nagel - must be decided to act now. Europe does not have to remain paralyzed from a so important issue in terms humans and politicians, otherwise we will return to the clearly indefensible conditions for the refugees and the marine ones who have prevailed in the years precedence. However - it has observed the representative of the German shipowners - the extremely dangerous migration through the Mediterranean Sea will not stop simply because of the dispute that it infuriates in Europe".

Nagel has evidenced that the activities of rescue of the EU and the Coastgards and national military ships in existence from the 2015 have recently returned the less insufferable situation for the mercantile ships and their crews, than only very rarely directly is involved in rescue missions. "Since the European States have reached a consent on operations of this type - it has emphasized Nagel - the German marine field remarkablly are alleviated because, as from norms, the ships of the State have assumed the task to collect the refugees. This does not exclude the fact that, as always, the German shipowners continue however to being called to participate to the aid missions".

Vincenzo Miele



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