German Media: To Stop the Flow of Refugees, the EU Must Again Attack Libya

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Firstly – news from German politics. On the eve of elections the German chancellor A. Merkel and her main ally, the head of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria Horst Seehofer quarrel among themselves.

Merkel, after some verbal fluctuations about restrictions and the toughening of the rules for migrants, again speaks about the “inflexible decision not to establish the upper limit” for the number of accepted refugees.

The Minister-President of Bavaria Seehofer, who resolutely offered a ceiling of 200,000 a year is also inflexible. However, now he doesn’t make this demand as a condition of a coalition with the Christian Democratic Union.

But this is besides the point.

Meanwhile the flow of refugees increases. The migration process is criminalized. Suddenly the major role here is played by Libya, which was blown to pieces by bombing by the Europeans in 2011. The German newspaper Zeit writes that (who could imagine!?) in the former Libya “the mafia operates, sending refugees for considerable money across the Mediterranean Sea in Europe in inflatable rubber boats. On the journey thousands of them drown”.

The blame for events is laid not on the European Union, which took part in the destruction of Libyan statehood – but on the European Union, which insufficiently patrols the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy. According to the newspaper, the EU “doesn’t use the opportunity that is given to it. Calling itself not rigid, but soft power, the EU in practice shows indecision and helplessness”.

In particular, recently the leaders of the EU found a non-banal solution. It is necessary simply to stop the export of rubber boats to Libya. “This offer in itself causes healthy laughter if it wasn’t so sadly shameful,” considers Zeit.

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The EU leaders, obviously, aren’t aware that the majority of these watercrafts are imported to Libya from China. Doesn’t the EU desire to impose sanctions against China in relation to deliveries of boats? It will distract the leadership of China together with the leadership of Russia (what does the leadership of Russia have to do with this? But of course, we are evil, it is impossible not to remind about us), mocked the newspaper.

In reality (one more sensation) the Libyan mafia blackmails the European Union, writes the newspaper, and makes big money on human trafficking. If the flow of migrants from Libya doesn’t decrease, disputes about their distribution all over the countries will simply tear the EU apart.

However, the newspaper remembers the sources of the problem. But in an unusual aspect: “Here it is necessary to remember 2011, when France and Great Britain started the invasion of Libya. At that time the US and Italy urgently joined them. Germany, thanks to the now deceased Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany of that time, the liberal politician Guido Westerwelle, didn’t participate in this intervention,” noted Zeit. However the sense is not in who is guilty there, but in the practical conclusions of the publication: the EU leaders of that time had close contacts with the Libyan opposition. Faultlessly functioning information channels and total cooperation allowed them to overthrow Gaddafi. The European military and intelligence agencies knew every Libyan military commander who was in power.

Now these people, as both opponents and supporters of Gaddafi, are now engaged in this criminal business. At least, in their most part, considers he newspaper.

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I.e. the European governors know with who it is necessary to speak to in order to stop this criminal process. Names and addresses are known, as well as those who need to be pressured.

But the European governors don’t want to do it, perhaps they are afraid of the consequences.

Of course, Libya is a political quicksand, which forces to think over and calculate every step.

“In such a situation the EU must act resolutely, even without a UNSC mandate, to carry out the entrance of warships into Libyan territorial waters in order to intervene the actions of the mafia.

It would be good to attract NATO operations for this, as it was in the Aegean Sea. The mafia understands only force,” notes Zeit.

To what extent the plan proposed by the German newspaper is realistic is difficult to say.

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