The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

Updated (2): Government brings all stranded migrants ashore, still seeking EU solution

Saturday, 6 June 2020, 19:43 Last update: about 3 years ago

The government has decided to bring to shore more than 400 migrants who have been accommodated on pleasure cruises for several weeks, some from late April.

A government statement said Saturday evening that the decision was taken after the situation on board the vessels had become difficult.

Earlier today, migrants on board one of the four pleasure cruise ships chartered by the Maltese government protested that weeks had passed with no solution in sight, and the vessel was moved closer to land, while the other three remained 13 miles out.

The migrants on board the Europa II was reported to first move towards the south of Malta, and was seen off Marsascala, and was later stationed off Sliema, some three miles out.

The vessel is carrying 160 migrants, who have been waiting for weeks for the European Union to find a solution to their predicament.

In its statement, the government said it was not ready to endanger the lives of the crew members because the EU was failing to take action on a redistribution progeramme. 

The government said that it continues negotiations for the migrants' relocation. The application process for the migrants who are coming from secure countries will be accelerated. In cases where the request for asylum is not met, the migrants in question will be returned to their country within days,

This situation, the government said, showed that "Malta remained strong although left on its own, and that almost nobody wants the migrants although there was so much talk about solidarity."

The government said that while Malta maintained its international obligations, it is now more resolute to work with Libya as with this country an effective solution could be founf against human traffickers.

This decision was also taken in the light of coolaboration between Malta and Libya, which in the past weeks rescued 1,500 migrants who could have easily ended up in Malta.





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