Connect with us

Europe

Banksy-funded migrant rescue boat calls for urgent help in Mediterranean

Issued on: 29/08/2020 – 08:03

A refugee rescue vessel funded by British street artist Banksy said ..

Issued on:

A refugee rescue vessel funded by British street artist Banksy said it was stranded and needed urgent help on Saturday after lending assistance to a boat in the Mediterranean that was carrying at least one dead migrant.

Advertising Read more

The German-flagged Louise Michel said it was overcrowded and unable to move after encountering another boat attempting to cross the expanse dividing Europe and Africa with 130 people on board.

"There is already one dead person on the boat. We need immediate assistance," the crew of the 31-metre (101 feet) Louise Michel wrote on Twitter, saying other migrants had fuel burns and had been at sea for days.

The vessel's crew of 10 had earlier rescued another 89 people from a rubber boat in distress on Thursday, and said European rescue agencies had so far ignored its distress calls.

#LouiseMichel is unable to move, she is no longer the master of her manoeuver, due to her overcrowded deck and a liferaft deployed at her side, but above all due to Europe ignoring our emergency calls for immediate assistance. The responsible authorities remain unresponsive.

— LouiseMichel (@MVLouiseMichel) August 29, 2020

The boat — named after 19th-century French anarchist Louise Michel — was around 90 kilometres southeast of the Italian island of Lampedusa early on Saturday, according to the global ship tracking website Marine Traffic.

Thousands of people are thought to have died making the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean to flee conflict, repression and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

We repeat, #LouiseMichel is unable to safely move and nobody is coming to our aid. The people rescued have experienced extreme trauma, it's time for them to be brought to a #PlaceOfSafety. We need immediate assistance.

— LouiseMichel (@MVLouiseMichel) August 29, 2020

Banksy's decision to fund the high-speed boat follows a body of work by the artist that has levelled scathing judgements on Europe's halting response to the migrant crisis.

'I can't keep the money'

Painted in hot pink and white, the Louise Michel features a Banksy artwork depicting a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped safety buoy.

The motor yacht, formerly owned by French customs, is smaller but considerably faster than other charity rescue vessels — enabling it to outrun Libyan coastguard boats, according to The Guardian.

Its crew is "made up of European activists with long experience in search and rescue operations" and is captained by German human rights activist Pia Klemp, who has also captained other such rescue vessels, the paper reported.

?The @MVLouiseMichel is urgently requesting assistance, on scene with a boat in distress.

They report ~130 men, women and children on board, in desperate need of rescue. They say that one person is already dead. #EU, this encroaching state of emergency is on your watch! https://t.co/7fSyVKNR36

— MSF Sea (@MSF_Sea) August 28, 2020

Banksy's involvement in the rescue mission goes back to September 2019 when he sent Klemp an email.

"Hello Pia, I've read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass," Banksy wrote.

"I am an artist from the UK and I've made some work about the migrant crisis, obviously I can't keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something? Please let me know. Well done. Banksy."

Klemp, who initially thought it was a joke, told thRead More – Source

Continue Reading

Europe

Covid: Thousands protest in France against proposed new vaccine pass

A new draft law would in effect ban unvaccinated people from public life.

Demonstrators in the capital, Paris, held placards emblazoned with phrases like “no to vaccine passes”.

Interior Ministry officials said 34 people were arrested and some 10 police officers were injured after the protests turned violent in some places.

The bill, which passed its first reading in the lower house of France’s parliament on Thursday, would remove the option of showing a negative Covid-19 test to gain access to a host of public venues.

Instead, people would have to be fully vaccinated to visit a range of spaces, including bars and restaurants.

The government says it expects the new rules to come into force on 15 January, although the opposition-dominated Senate could delay the process.

But demonstrators on Saturday accused the government of trampling on their freedoms and treating citizens unequally.

Others targeted their anger at the president, Emmanuel Macron, over comments he made earlier this week in relation to unvaccinated citizens, telling Le Parisian newspaper that he wanted to “piss them off”.

One protester, hospital administrator Virginie Houget, told the Reuters news agency that Mr Macron’s remarks were “the last straw”.

And in Paris, where some 18,000 people marched against the new law, demonstrators responded to his coarse language by chanting: “We’ll piss you off”.

TV images showed altercations between protesters and police turning violent in some places. In Montpellier officers used teargas during clashes with the demonstrators.

Turnout for the protests was estimated to be about four times higher than the last major demonstrations on 18 December, when some 25,500 people marched across the country.

But despite the vocal protests, opposition to the new measures is not widespread and recent polling suggests the vast majority of people back the vaccine pass.

France is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in Europe, with more than 90% of over-12s eligible for the shot fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, new coronavirus infections are rising rapidly across France as the new Omicron variant takes hold.

The country recorded more than 300,000 new cases for the second time in a week on Friday and admissions to intensive care wards are rising steadily, putting healthcare systems under strain.

Some hospitals have reported that some 85% of ICU patients are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

SOURCE

Continue Reading

Europe

Covid-19: ‘There is no choice between lives and livelihoods,’ OECD chief Gurría says

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:26

As European countries move into their second Covid-19 lockdowns of t..

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:26

As European countries move into their second Covid-19 lockdowns of the year, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development backs measures seen by many as tough. Ángel Gurría tells FRANCE 24: "If you win the battle against the virus first, you will have less economic consequences." He adds that "there is no choice between lives and livelihoods; it's a false dilemma".

Advertising

Mexican economist Ángel Gurría has been Secretary-General of the OECD since 2006 – throughout the global financial crash and subsequent recovery.

With hopes now high for viable vaccines against Covid-19, he's telling world leaders that the solutions to health and economic crises must carry the elements of our solutions to the environmental crisis too: "The single most important inter-generational responsibility is with the planet. That means the recovery, where we are going to make investments that have an impact for the next 30, 40 years, must absolutely have the sustainability of the planet in mind".

On the recently announced Pfizer vaccine, Gurría says: "It is a game changer […] The possibility of a vaccine being close is of enormous consequence. We still have to wait for it to be finalised, approved and distributed in sufficient amounts that it can get everywhere, so we are calculating that we are going to spend most of 2021 still living with the virus. But it changes expectations; the whole mood has improved considerably since the announcement."

On the refusal of Donald Trump, leader of the OECD's biggest single funder, to concede defeat in the US presidential election, Gurría sounds an upbeat note: "I believe that we will have an orderly transition of power in the United States come 20th January 2021. I believe in the institutions in the United States, I believe that the political forces in the United States will eventually align."

Finally, as talks drag on over a new Brexit deal on the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom, Gurría says he still expects a deal to be struck: "I believe that the common interest will lead to a deal […] The impact in Europe is going to be limited to the trade with the UK. The impact in the UK is going to be very serious, not only because of the flows of trade and flows of investment, but also because the overall business mood will be affected. So I am still counting on a deal."

Produced by Mathilde Bénézet

Let's (Why?)

Read More – Source

france24
Continue Reading

Europe

Attacks in France and Austria: Europe’s response to extremism

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:40Modified: 13/11/2020 – 17:42

TALKING EUROPE © FRANCE 24
This Friday..

Issued on: 13/11/2020 – 17:40Modified: 13/11/2020 – 17:42

TALKING EUROPE
TALKING EUROPE © FRANCE 24

This Friday marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people were killed. The last few weeks have seen more bloodshed, with attacks in the Paris region, in Nice and in the Austrian capital Vienna. European leaders are looking for solutions: ways to stop hate being preached, broadcast and acted upon, while defending individual freedoms of speech and of conscience. In our debate we ask two leading members of the European Parliament, from France and from Austria, what they believe should be done.

Advertising

Produced by Yi Song and Perrine Desplats

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Subscribe

Our guests

  • Andreas SCHIEDER, Austrian MEP, Socialists & Democrats
  • Nathalie LOISEAU, French MEP, Renew Europe

Let's (Why?)

Read More – Source

france24
Continue Reading

Trending