The Guardian Sat 30 Sep 2023 08.55 EDT
The German government has rebuked Elon Musk after he criticised the work of rescue ships being operated by German humanitarian groups in the Mediterranean Sea.
The owner of X, formerly Twitter, retweeted a video on Friday that showed refugees and aid workers on a boat. The rightwing account that first put the content on the social media platform used the post to praise the populist far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, which has taken a hard line on migration issues.
“Is the German public aware of this?” Musk wrote in his retweet.
The German federal foreign office replied to Musk directly on X, writing: “Yes. And it’s called saving lives.”
Musk responded that he doubted the German public supported the actions of non-government organisations taking asylum seekers from unseaworthy vessels in the Mediterranean. He also claimed it was “surely” a violation of Italy’s sovereignty for German-operated ships to take rescued migrants to Italian territory.
“So you’re actually proud of it. Interesting,” he wrote, adding that he thought such maritime operations had “invasion vibes”.