The Malta Independent 21 July 2018, Saturday

Updated: Government denies entry to Defend Europe vessel because of ‘everything it stands for’

Saturday, 19 August 2017, 14:37 Last update: about 12 months ago

The government has denied entry to and cooperation with a vessel which belongs to an anti-migrant organisation because of "everything it stands for", an OPM spokesperson has told The Malta Independent.

The ship, C-Star belongs to an anti-immigration movement called Defend Europe, an organisation set up by French, Italian and German citizens

NGOs have commended the Government for standing "against the far-right group Defend Europe in refusing to allow the C-Star to enter Malta."

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Earlier, the Defend Europe group, whose aim is patrol the Mediterranean sea to "sink abandoned migrant traffic ships and watch over NGOs who they claim are smuggling hundred thousands of illegal migrants to Europe, released a series of tweets which claimed that the Maltese government had refused its entry into the country.

"Malta, that is allowing NGO vessels to use Valetta as their HQ, is denying the #cstar port acceptance."

"Malta, that has become the gate for illegal immigration to Europe, is closing its borders for European citizens."

"Malta is now denying the cstar fresh water and has forbidden supply vessels to provide us. Who low can you go?"

The group, which is a project that forms part of Generation Identity , also thanked "all the people from Malta who don't support the embargo of their government and passed by to show their support."

The government spokesperson confirmed Defend Europe's claims and said that the ship is presently within international waters.

 "If the vessel was in need of humanitarian aid or was in an emergency then it would be a different situation."

Generation Identity, which accuses migrants of 'destroying European culture, tourism and security' and they plan 'to intervene where politicians fail and do whatever is necessary to stop the wave of illegal migration to Europe', has managed to raise tens of thousands of euros through which they managed to rent a 40-metre ship. 

The C-star has been patrolling the Mediterranean, from the Libyan coast to Sicily. On their Twitter account, the group boasts about managing to reduce irregular immigration by 76%.

NGOs' statement

NGOs Aditus Foundation, Graffiti, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), Kopin, and  The Critical Institute released a statement saying:

"We would like to commend the Government of Malta's stand against the far-right group Defend Europe in refusing to allow the C-Star to enter Malta.

"Under the deceptive premise of 'saving lives', the mission of the vessel C-Star claims to 'defend Europe' by disrupting humanitarian vessels and by returning refugees to the coast of Libya. The scope and actions of Defend Europe must not be underestimated, their political ideology is dangerous and extreme. The stance adopted by the Government of Malta sends out a clear message against the politics of hate and extremism."

 

 


 

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