German shipowners call for Merkel to aid refugees

The German shipowners' association VDR is now calling on the country's government for increased state aid to the safety and rescue mission aimed at refugees in the Mediterranean. German carriers alone have rescued more than 5,000 refugees in recent months.

Photo: Francesco Viviano/AP/POLFOTO/arkiv

Germany's shipowners' association VDR, Verband Deutscher Reeder, issued a statement on Wednesday to the German government, the Bundestag, calling for massively increased state aid from Germany and the EU member states to the rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.

Thousands of refugees in boats trying to cross the Mediterranean currently represent a major humanitarian disaster, with upwards of 800 refugees drowning this past weekend as boat headed from Libya to Italy capsized.

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