‘Stranded For The Second Time’

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Migrant rescue ship Aquarius

AFP reports:

European countries faced pressure on Tuesday to resolve a fresh standoff with the operators of the migrant rescue ship Aquarius which is stranded for the second time in the Mediterranean carrying 141 people.

France said it was in touch with the other EU nations to “rapidly” find a port where the Aquarius could dock after it was refused entry by Italy and Malta, the two countries closest to its current location.

The Aquarius, which was left stranded with 630 migrants on board in June after being turned away by Rome and Valletta, resumed rescue operations off the Libyan coast last week.

France again voiced disapproval of Italy’s “very tough political stance” — milder language than two months ago when President Emmanuel Macron accused his Italian partners of “cynicism and irresponsibility”.

The 141 migrants on board the Aquarius were picked up on Friday in two separate operations and are in a stable condition, the French charity that operates the Aquarius, SOS Mediterranee, said.

EU faces fresh standoff over Aquarius migrant boat (Yahoo)

Pic: GavinLeeBBC

Meanwhile…

Via IOM UN Migration

55 thoughts on “‘Stranded For The Second Time’

  1. ollie

    THE Aquarius picked up their latest “batch” of “migrants” 14Km from the African coast and brought them to Europe. Why not back to Africs if they are in need of rescue?

    1. Rowsdower

      Because unless they’re “rescued” to Europe, they’re going to find themselves back in the water again somehow…

    2. Ollie Cromwell

      Yup,sail them back home.
      Australia nipped that problem in the bud early doors and it soon stopped the flow of ” migrants. “

      1. Brother Barnabas

        or acknowledge our moral and ethical obligation to these people, accept that societal change is inevitable and ultimately positive, and focus attention and resources on better managing the challenges and better exploiting the opportunities to the benefit of all

        1. ollie

          We have no moral obligation to accept migrants. We should be doing more to inprove thier circumstances in their home Country.

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            Correct.
            Virtue-signallers like BB would soon have their cough softened if a dozen Somalian men suddenly became his next door neighbours.
            Frau Merkel’s open door policy has had a disastrous effect on life in Germany and unchecked immigration,which has brought huge increases in crime across the continent, is leading to the rise of Far Right populist parties across Europe.
            Governments should follow the UK’s line and pouring vast sums into refugee camps and foreign aid.
            It is simply ludicrous to suggest that such a massive influx of immigrants into Europe from countries with radically different social and religious morals will not have a profoundly negative effect.
            Anyone who visits any French city and sees riot police on permanent standby will know this as I experienced when Mrs Ollie Campbell and I enjoyed a romantic break in Bordeaux last year.
            Talking to an off-duty detective in a local bar produced some hair-raising tales of what they have to deal with from immigrants who are mostly single men under the age of 35.

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            My hoop. I was in Bordeaux for a week in May. Had you had a few too many Cotes de Bourg, my dear? Because you were obviously hallucinating.

          3. Donal

            We should be doing more to improve their circumstances in ther home country.
            We are not doing more.
            Climate change: all studies show less developed regions of the world will be disproportionately affected, but we are the ones creating the emissions at huge rates per capita. Are our reduction measures having much affect? No, because we are not doing more.
            Trade policy: The EU and other developed states still employ a largely protectionist model against less developed regions. A Ghanaian can sell us tomatoes with zero tariff. A Ghanaian cannot sell us tinned tomatoes. Developed economies produce goods from raw materials, we protect the producers from competition from outside, and allow the raw materials in. We could do more and allow processed goods in, but we don’t.

            There are other examples.

            Colonailism played a large part in us being rich/developed, them not being. We could do more to help this be overcome, we do little, and some of us have zero empathy for people drowning in the sea while trying to find a better life

          4. Papi

            “Anyone who visits any French city and sees riot police on permanent standby will know this as I experienced when Mrs Ollie Campbell and I enjoyed a romantic break in Bordeaux last year.”

            Shouldn’t you have been there with Mrs Cromwell? You dog, charger. And I mean no disrespect to dogs by saying that.

        2. Andrew

          I’m curious Brother Barnabas do you think there should be no borders at all? That people should be free to move and live where they want to without restriction?
          What about the countries they leave behind? What futures will they have if everyone of working age leaves?

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            You must be the only person in Ireland who wishes the country had signed up to the Schengen Agreement because I’ve never heard from a any other person who does.

          2. Rob_G

            BB – you can have open borders, or you have a generous welfare state; you have to pick one, you cannot have both.

          3. Andrew

            Okay so. No borders then BB.
            What additional employment, housing and health service plans do you have/propose for such a scenario?
            Also as I mentioned earlier. what becomes of the countries that these people leave behind?

        3. Owen C

          I’d actually genuinely like to hear the rationale for what “moral and ethical obligations” we have for them (beyond helping to fish them out of the water perhaps) and just why we have them?

          1. Donal

            Historical reasons. We are rich because we ran the world for 3-4 centuries and the power systems that were created in that time are ingrained in the world and cannot easily be undone. We could be doing more to undo them, see my post above. Although in that rant I admit I blamed the EU trade policy for not doing more, when in fact EU trade policy towards many countries around the world allows tariff and quota free access to EU markets.

          2. Rob_G

            @ Donal – if you were to follow your argument to its logical conclusion, you should pick some people from sub-Saharan Africa at random and give them all of your money.

          3. Donal

            @ ROB
            I’d like to see you lay out the logical steps that get from my “we could be doing more” to your “give that randomer your money”

          4. Andrew

            We ‘ran the world’ Donal? How many centuries again? 3 or 4? That’s a bit vague. Did we ? I missed that in history class.

          5. Andrew

            Yes I must have skipped it Donal. Can you fill me in there if you wouldn’t mind? Was this before or after the famine? When we were running the world I mean.

          6. Zaccone

            “Historical reasons. We are rich because we ran the world for 3-4 centuries ”

            I must have missed that part in school History lessons. Too much focus on things like Ireland losing half its population in the 19th century due to a brutal colonial administration ruling us I guess. Not enough on Ireland’s historical running of the world for centuries.

          7. Brother Barnabas

            @Andrew

            “we” = the west, which Ireland is a part of – and being a part of the west is something we’ve benefited massively from

            for centuries, we’ve been plundering, ripping off and scamming these countries (and if you think there wasn’t and isn’t irish involvement in that, you’re naive)

            so if a shipload of them are looking to come here to scam our social welfare system, i say fair enough

          8. Rob_G

            @ BB – if you feel that way, will be giving all of your money away to some people from some poorer countries; if not, why not?

          9. Brother Barnabas

            no, because I don’t think that’s the way to do it

            i am though happy for a good portion of the tax i pay to go to them. and I am happy for whoever wants to come to Ireland to be accommodated here.

          10. Nigel

            ‘if you were to follow your argument to its logical conclusion, you should pick some people from sub-Saharan Africa at random and give them all of your money.’

            If only there were a middle ground between leaving people to drown in the sea and just straight up giving away all your worldly goods to the first poor person you meet.

          11. Cian

            @Brother Barnabas
            “so if a shipload of them are looking to come here to scam our social welfare system, i say fair enough”

            fine, so you’re okay with a shipload….

            what about a town-load? (5,000 people)
            what about a stadium-load? (80,000 people)
            what about a small-city-load? (200,000 people)
            what about a large-city-load? (2,000,000 people)
            or a country-load? (112,000,000 people)
            or a continent-load? (1,216,000,000 people)

          12. Rob_G

            “i am though happy for a good portion of the tax i pay to go to them.”

            – we could stop every social programme in Ireland, and devote 100% of the tax take to the foreign aid budget, and it would not make the tiniest dent in fixing the myriad problems that countries in sub-Saharan Africa face.

            So the logical thing would be to just skip the middle-man and give them your money yourself directly.

          13. Nigel

            Yeah, we can’t let a ship-load in because next thing you know 1,216,000,000 people are on the way.
            So (these don’t all apply to Cian):

            1. Slippery slope.
            2. Excluded middle.
            3. Immigrants/refugees as parasites coming not to find work and safety and stability but for free handouts.

            The biggest thing to fear from an influx of refugees/immigrants – which does bring problems, no question – is the rise of hysterical xenophobic far-right extremism, and from people who see their concerns as legitimate.

            The best cure for refugees/immigrants is to help create peace and stability in the places they come from. It’s too late to go back in time to stop the European powers, the US and Russia from invading/exploiting/colonising/interfering with North African and Middle Eastern countries, so international co-operation behind peace efforts and free and fair trade and climate change mitigation are the answer to everyone with genuine worries about such influxes. Get to it.

          14. Rob_G

            @ BB – I agree that the best thing to do would for proper civil society structures to be in place every where. But then this is easier said than done – how can we ‘help create peace and stability in the places they come from’, but at the same time ‘stop interfering in interfering with North African and Middle Eastern countries’.

            It really is an intractable solution; as in, if we do nothing, well that’s bad. If we give aid or trade deals, but make them conditional on some democratic reform or other, it can be suggested (with some justification) that western countries are engaging in some sort of neo-colonialism. I don’t know what the right answer is, I really don’t.

          15. Donal

            @Rob – I agree, it is difficult and complex and there is not one quick fix.
            But: acknowledging that we have a lot of responsibility for the current situation, and could be doing more to alleviate the worst elements of the current situation

            leaves me believing that the least we can do in the immediate is not ship people back to a place they have made huge efforts and suffered great hardships to leave. We are not full, we will not suffer if the EU population grows via immigration. We do need to resist the rise of a racist far right who will use fear of numbers to stoke up dislike of foreigners

          16. Rob_G

            @ Donal – I do believe that with our privileged position, it is incumbent upon us to help. But I don’t think that encouraging a free-for-all across the Mediterranean as the solution – I think if Europe gives out the message: ‘get yourself in any sort of boat and, if you manage not to drown, you’ve made it to Europe’, it will only result in more drownings in the short term, and in the long term provide a moral hazard in rewarding with EU residency the brave/foolhardy few who are prepared to risk death, rather than helping everyone (or at least a greater number of people) in the region as a whole.

            (and sorry if I was a bit flip earlier – was trying to be brief)

          17. Donal

            @Rob
            I understand the moral hazard question re attempts to cross the med. I have no answer

            It is my belief that the rise of the right is something that must truly be resisted, and that a huge majority of calls for migrants to be sent back comes from people with rightwing racist tendencies. If these voices are strengthened and come to power (as in Italy) I believe they will do nothing to try and improve the situation in various places where the desire to leave overcomes the fear of death. They will deny any responsibility and simply talk of security issues.

            It is also our responsibility to do out utmost to ensure that these ideas do not gain further acceptance. Whatever chance there is of ameliorating suffering in distant lands when true democrats who sway not too far from the centre of the political spectrum are in power (as for last 60 years in most of EU), will be zero if there is a further move rightwards

          1. Andrew

            Do you own your own home Donal?
            Same question to BB.
            Would you consider yourself well off?
            Do you accept that others do not share you’re view of how things might pan out in the scenario you envisage that are not motivated by racism

          2. Donal

            @Andrew
            I will not argue that I am not in a more comfortable (very far from rich…) situation than many people. And I agree with anyone who complains that our own state does not do enough to ensure that both opportunity and outcome are provided via a more level playing field. But arguing for a fairer organising of our own state, while arguing against a fairer organising of economic relations between states (a system that currently has us very near the top) is surely perverse?

            The people you mention may not be motivated directly by racism, but without a doubt the forces that influence them to fight the other rather than fighting for all are employing divide and conquer tactics and the race card is easily played and listened to

          3. Andrew

            Fight the ‘other’ Interesting that you use that word ‘other’
            I often see it used by sociology graduates debating the everyday racism they perceive to be all around us.
            Do you own your own home though Donal?
            Do you have a spare room or two to put people up?
            What political party or public representative best reflects your point of view?
            How much more tax would you pay to accommodate the increase in population and services and infrastructure required to support that.
            Do you work and if so; in the public or private sector?

          4. Donal

            @Andrew
            Every single political debate ever comes down to one basic fact, there are people who agree with me, and there are people who don’t. The other stems from here. History is littered with examples of positive and negative use of the other to bring people together or to drive a wedge between them.

            I am here typing because I wish to see politics used to bring people together with an aim of there not being a section of society who feel left behind by everyone else, and I’m extending that thought across borders.

            What efforts are you making?

          5. Andrew

            Well done on your typing efforts Donal although I suspect that is cold comfort to a migrant on a boat right now.
            So APART from typingon the internet, I’ll ask again, do you own your own home and will you accommodate people less fortunate than yourself in your home? In fact could you accommodate homeless people right now?
            What am I doing with regard to migrants on the Mediterranean? I am doing nothing as I don’t think they should be encouraged to risk their lives to come to Europe and they do that in the belief that they will be rescued every time. Some will not and they will, die and charities like MSF are responsible for that.
            I believe the countries of origin need to be helped and are being helped to look after their own citizens and provide a future for them there.

          6. Donal

            The current housing crisis in this country has no relationship to immigration to this country, suggestions that it is and that we should look after our own are, in my mind, based in a fear of foreigners.
            The problem is lack of supply, that is our own governments responsibility, and hopefully the electorate will get an opportunity to vote in a government that will do better at it as soon as possible
            To that end I have and do canvass for a local politician in my area, knocking on doors to help get him elected

            I answered the moral hazard question re migrants in med above, but unlike you I don’t believe we are doing enough to assist the countries of origin to be more satisfying places to remain for their citizens

  2. Termagant

    Macron spitting disapproval but I note he’s not just blithely accepting shiploads of undocumented asylum seekers. You don’t need to find a port Emmanuel, Marseilles is right there.

  3. Murtles

    I think it’s a disgrace there is no will from African authorities or some International Force in place to stamp out these traffickers who charge huge sums from people to sail on unseaworthy vessels. Nearly 1500 dead! And whilst I understand the need for the migrant people to escape war and famine there are several African countries free from these problems, why not move them to a different part of the continent? Imagine having to learn Italian and eat spaghetti all day.

        1. rotide

          They were left alone for a very very long time.

          They paid the price for their hubris and you’ll find that the citizenry of their respective countries were more than happy to execute them for very obvious reasons.

          1. Donal

            True, most of the citizenry were happy to see the back of them, but if told in advance what the price would be for that to happen would they have chosen to pay?

            You’ll find no serious scholars of international relations who believe that upsetting stable states and contained threats to regional peace and security is ever a positive, the upheaval in the short term always creates major disturbances.

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