Evarist Bartolo: there is no serious commitment in the EU on the fate of immigrants
Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Evarist Bartolo, declared that although 10% of immigrants who entered Malta were relocated in EU countries, there is no serious commitment among the 27-member states to shoulder together part of the responsibility on the fate of immigrants who arrive from different countries.
He was writing on his social media post, saying that together with the rest of EU member states, Malta is working to address this challenge.
Minister Bartolo made it clear that there can no longer be more people drowning in the Mediterranean, adding that 500 persons encountered this fate during this year. From 2005 till the middle of April, he stated that Malta rescued 23,007 immigrants who left Libya, however EU countries only accepted 2,922 of these migrants, that is 10%, with Germany and France accepting the majority.
While maintaining that every 1,000 immigrants who arrive in Malta are equal to a million in the EU, the Minister said that “we are already doing more than others”.
Immigrants leaving Libya last April were 121% more than April last year, while this year 6,583 immigrants entered from the Mediterranean’s central route. While the Libyan coast guard intercepted 8,853 immigrants, Mr Bartolo added that there are currently 43,021 refugees in Libya seeking asylum and 4,300 are in detention centres.
While EU countries agree that this is a humanitarian tragedy and migrants should be treated as humans, he insisted that Libya needs to be assisted to control the borders and its coast guards will be able to intercept more immigrants on boats.
“Malta has been for a year pushing countries to arrive at this point. We have much more to do to arrive. The seed needs to grow, because we will be judged by the results we achieve, and not by speeches during press conferences”, Minister Bartolo stated.