More and more European politicians from different countries are criticizing NGOs for their refugee carriers and alleged cooperation with human traffickers in Libya. After talking to Italy's Secretary of State Marco Minniti, German Minister Thomas de Maizière publicly criticized the organizations. He stated that Italian authorities are investigating the organizations for obscuring their positions and entering and placing their ships in unauthorized places. Minniti explained to him that NGO-sponsored carriers enter Libyan waters and flash their lights at the coast to signal human traffickers where and when to go.
Austrian Secretary of State Wolfgang Sobotka is now demanding punishment against those organizations for cooperating with the traffickers directly. He stated that those self-proclaimed saviors need to be stopped from entering Libyan waters, taking refugees directly from traffickers and then helping them enter European countries illegally. Sobotka explained that one-third of Austria's asylum seekers are not registered in other European countries, which means they were transported to the country by criminals through illegal ways.
Austria Ready to Close Their Border. Earlier this week, Sobotka also inspected the Austria-Italy border and announced that, should the number of immigrants illegally crossing into Austria increase, his country was ready to close the borders completely within 24 hours.
With more than 85,000 asylum seekers entering Italy just this year, to a point where the country is in a state of emergency, Sobotka is not expecting the situation to improve. He is ready to man the border with soldiers and police forces to enforce stricter border control policies.
The Italian government has reportedly reacted to the Austrian statements regarding the border with irritation.