Germany’s government has criticized Elon Musk, the owner of X, after he expressed criticism towards the work of migrant rescue ships operated by German humanitarian groups in the Mediterranean Sea.
Musk shared a video on X that depicted migrants and aid workers on a boat. The content was originally posted by a right-wing account, which praised the populist far-right Alternative for Germany party that has taken a strong stance on migration issues.
Musk questioned whether the German public was aware of this situation in his repost.
The German Federal Foreign Office directly replied to Musk on X, stating, “Yes. And it’s called saving lives.”
Musk responded by expressing doubt that the German public supports the actions of non-governmental organizations that rescue asylum-seekers from unseaworthy vessels in the Mediterranean. He also argued that it is a violation of Italy’s sovereignty for German-operated ships to bring rescued migrants to Italian territory.
He further added that such maritime operations have “invasion vibes,” and asked the Foreign Office if they were proud of it.
This exchange comes at a time when migration has become a prominent issue in Germany and other European countries, with debates centered around how to effectively handle the increasing number of migrants. Cities and communities across Germany have expressed concerns about the lack of space to accommodate migrants and provide necessary facilities like kindergartens and schools.
From January to August this year alone, more than 220,000 people have applied for asylum in Germany. In comparison, about 240,000 people applied for asylum in the entirety of 2022, and over 1 million people applied in Germany during the years 2015-16.