MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has criticized charities operating migrant rescue boats for encouraging people to embark on the perilous trip to Europe, in an interview out Sunday.
“They only give false hopes and inadvertently put even more people in danger,” the chair of the conservative People’s Party told Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Uncontrolled migration to Europe will stop once would-be immigrants realize that they will be brought back to their countries of origin or transit states instead of EU countries, he said.
“More and more people will embark on this journey as long as Mediterranean rescue [operations] provide a ticket to Central Europe,” Kurz predicted.
Italy closed ports to rescue ships last year but they have continued docking despite the entry ban. The captain of a German charity Sea Watch ship stirred controversy last week when she hit an Italian police boat while bringing 53 migrants picked up off the Libyan coast to Lampedusa.