Italian Minister of Defense Criticizes Germany’s Support for NGOs in Mediterranean Crisis

“It’s regrettable that Berlin supports NGOs; Germany’s not acting as a friendly nation,” stated Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto in an interview with La Stampa. “Their approach is ideologically driven and places us in a challenging position,” he added, emphasizing that “Paris closes its borders, and there’s no outcry, demonstrating Europe’s frequent strategic missteps.”

Crosetto identified immigration, inflation, and the economy as the government’s current primary challenges, emphasizing that “we cannot address these major issues in isolation.” He proposed that smugglers “must lose their confidence in conducting trafficking without hindrance. Beyond a certain point, it almost becomes an act of war. However, a change of approach is necessary at the European level. I observe that the French deploy soldiers and police to block borders, yet there’s no outcry.”

So, what’s the solution? “The Navy can’t be deployed. Without authorization to repatriate individuals, we would inadvertently assist human traffickers and the work of NGOs. Smugglers should be treated as international criminals.”

In response to a question regarding Germany potentially financing an NGO for Mediterranean life-saving missions, Crosetto expressed deep concern, stating, “This is a grave matter. Is this their response to our request for assistance? We didn’t respond in the same way when Angela Merkel persuaded the EU to invest billions of euros in Turkey to stem the flow of migrants heading to Germany from the Middle East.” Crosetto criticized what he perceives as a lack of a comprehensive plan, attributing it to the ideological approach of a certain political faction that fails to consider the consequences of its policies on nations. He likened it to the industrial policy proposed by former European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, which he believes will be destructive for the EU.

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