Merkel: Mediterranean deaths ‘incompatible with EU values’

German politicians have urged better financing for sea rescues and fair distribution of refugees across the EU. EU leaders are set to discuss how to stop migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean at a special summit.

Wednesday’s discussion in the Bundestag, the lower house of German parliament, began with representatives standing in a gesture of mourning for the hundreds of people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend.

In a cabinet session earlier Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that “images of drowned people are incompatible with the values of the European Union,” deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said in Berlin, adding that the EU’s first priority must be saving human lives.

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European leaders have faced criticism this week for their policies towards people from Africa, Asia and the Middle East embarking on perilous journeys to reach Europe – fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty. An estimated 800 people drowned Sunday when the overcrowded boat they were in sank off the coast of Libya. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 1,750 people have drowned so far this year in the Mediterranean Sea, trying to get to EU territory.
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Source News: DW