Following the decision of the Italian Government to deny the 47 persons on board of the Sea Watch to disembark, and the initiative of the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico) to check the precarious conditions of the migrants, the president of the Socialists and Democrats, Udo Bullmann, said:

“No one can play with people’s lives for political gain. Matteo Salvini, the Italian Minister of Interior, is putting at risk the lives of the 47 persons on board of the boat Sea Watch blocked off the coast of Sicily. By refusing to let these people, who are already in a very precarious condition, to disembark, Salvini is showing again his reckless and inhumane face. The S&D Group has been the first to call for a common European approach to the migratory challenge. What the Italian government is doing goes beyond any legitimate political action. It is just an irresponsible and outrageous provocation, which we deeply condemn.”

“We stand beside our PD and S&D comrades that in an act of solidarity decided to go on board the Sea Watch to check on the conditions of the migrants and to denounce the disgraceful actions of the Italian government,” Bullmann added.