Tag Archives: migrants

Australian Prime Minister gets tough on people smugglers by paying them tens of thousands of dollars

23 Jun

CANBERRA—Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced a tough new campaign against people smugglers, in which the Australian navy will “search out boats full of illegal migrants, find the despicable ringleaders, and then give them a lot of money.”

Abbott, who was elected in large part on his pledge to crack down on boats full of migrants fleeing to Australia for safety, has said repeatedly that his government would never negotiate with the smugglers who transport the migrants, putting lives at risk and exploiting them horribly. He said there was no contradiction in the new policy. “We aren’t negotiating with these scum,” he said at a press conference. “When our guys offer them thirty thousand dollars in crisp new hundreds, it’s a take-it-or-leave-it deal. We’re fully in control of the situation.”

The payments, Abbott explained, are designed to entice the people smugglers to return the migrants to their embarkation point instead of pressing on to Australia. Asked whether the payments might not then just cause the smugglers to immediately return to the ocean, seeking another payout, Abbott looked confused. “Why would they do that?” he asked. “Are these guys all about money?”

In case the payments are not enough, Abbott said that he was open to a “wide range of perks” to get the smugglers to return to their country of departure. He suggested “free massages, a wide range of healthy snacks, and an in-house gym,” but said that if pressed, he was also open to discussing stock options.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, more than fifty feet ahead of Vladimir Putin in a swim-off

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