The Malta Independent 28 September 2020, Monday

Migration: Solution is not giving us money, it’s burden-sharing, PM says

Thursday, 17 September 2020, 07:08 Last update: about 11 days ago

The solution to the migration phenomenon is not giving Malta money to retain migrants here, but to implement burden sharing to the maximum of its potentiality, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

He was speaking during a meeting he had with Charles Michel, president of the European Council, who is in Malta on an official visit.

Abela said that there should be a permanent solid mechanism for migrants to be relocated to other countries. Very few EU nations have collaborated on this aspect, he added.

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The reality is that every morning the government is informed about boats containing 90, 100 or 120 migrants on their way to Malta.

Referring to the state of the union address by the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Abela said that countries which are taking in migrants as they happen to be on the EU borders should be listened to. “We are facing situations every day, and we do not have space to receive more migrants,” Abela said.

There is no holistic plan to tackle the issue, which is being faced on a boat by boat case. He said that if each of the 27 EU states took one of the 27 migrants who spent a month on board the Maersk Etienne tanker for 38 days a solution would have been found more quickly.

The Maltese Armed Forces have saved thousands of lives, but Malta cannot just be shown solidarity. It needs assistance just like Italy and other nations who have been facing pressure for many years.

On the rule of law, Abela said that the government had implemented changes to increase the checks and balances to strengthen the country’s institutions.

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