EU Commission against cruise ships for refugees

EU
EU
The European Commission has rejected the request by EU Parliament Vice-President Katarina Barley to allow cruise ships to accommodate homeless refugees on Lesbos for short periods of time.

"Compared to other options, the cruise ship option is not cost-effective - a lot more people could be accommodated at the same cost," a commission spokesman told the German editorial network on Thursday. He referred to the efforts of the Greek authorities on the ground to deal with the plight of the former residents of the burned down Moria camp.

"We are in close contact with them, offer and coordinate all available support," said the spokesman. Previously, the SPD politician Barley and the Green MEP Erik Marquart had requested the provision of cruise ships in order to be able to offer short-term protection to the more than 12.000 people - including around a third children. The first shipping companies were already offering support, including the Bonn company "Phoenix Reisen". Managing director Johannes Zurnieden told the RND that it had ships that were useless in Germany, while the people on Lesbos were without toilets and sleeping places. He offered to give away a ship. The travel company TUI was also open to discussions, but pointed out that the implementation of humanitarian protection and accommodation measures is a state responsibility.