Alternative for Germany (AfD) MEP Beatrix von Storch has called for a “Merkel Investigation Committee” to be set up to probe the links between Angela Merkel’s open door immigration policy and the thousands of migrants lost at sea in the Mediterranean this year alone.
“There is a direct connection between many deaths and the policy of Mrs. Merkel,” von Storch said on Sunday at the AfD Bavaria’s regional parliamentary convention in Ingolstadt, die Welt has reported.
Putting it to the convention that the German chancellor’s policy of offering asylum to all Syrian migrants lured people onto unsafe boats to cross the Mediterranean, she added, “That is why it has to be said that Angela Merkel’s policy is responsible for the loss of many human lives.”
Von Storch suggested that, should her party gain seats in the Bundestag at the next election, they will push for a committee to investigate the links saying: “If the AfD moves into the Bundestag, then we need a committee of inquiry into Merkel which deals with all the policy’s legal and constitutional deficiencies.”
Moves to set up such a committee would have to be supported by at least a quarter of Bundestag representatives in order to be successful.
According to the UN’s Refugee Agency, 4,655 migrants have been recorded as dead or missing, having attempted the crossing, this year – a record-breaking figure.
In the last week alone some 340 migrants have drowned in four major shipwrecks, as winter weather continues to take a toll on unseaworthy vessels.
The unprecedented numbers come despite an expensive and controversial deal between Turkey and the European Union (EU) on stemming the flow of illegal immigration; a deal which now appears to be unraveling fast.
Meanwhile, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a Malta-based NGO, has indicated that migration from Libya is also a major factor, as EU measures have failed to make any impact on smuggler boats heading to the continent from the chaotic country.
Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia whose decisive action to stop and turn away smuggler boats ended deadly drownings in the Pacific at virtually a single stroke, has urged European leaders to follow his example for years, to no avail.