Mi­grants leave for Ire­land, Italy only coun­try still to stick to its word

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

Italy re­mains the only coun­try still to keep its word to take in 50 mi­grants who ar­rived in Malta on board the Life­line in late June as yes­ter­day morn­ing an­other group left for Ire­land.

In a tweet yes­ter­day, Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat said only one coun­try has not yet taken in the mi­grants it promised. No na­tions were men­tioned, but with an­other seven na­tions ac­cept­ing their share, only Italy re­mains to re­ceive Life­line mi­grants.

Malta will also be set­tling some of the mi­grants as part of a nine-na­tion deal bro­kered by Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat. In a state­ment later in the day gov­ern­ment said that a group of mi­grants who came to Malta aboard the MV Life­line were also suc­cess­fully lo­cated to Bel­gium over the past week.

“The suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of these two lat­est re­lo­ca­tions means that seven EU mem­ber states, as well as Norway, have re­spected the com­mit­ments which they made through the ad-hoc sol­i­dar­ity agree­ment spear­headed by Malta. One mem­ber state is still to en­act its pledge,” the state­ment read

Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Giuseppe Conte had promised Mus­cat that Italy would ac­cept some mi­grants res­cued in the MV Life­line stand-off. In all, 234 mi­grants were res­cued.

The MV Life­line was given per­mis­sion to dock only af­ter the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment reached a one­off deal with eight other Euro­pean coun­tries to jointly re­lo­cate the mi­grants.

Upon en­ter­ing Malta, the ship was im­pounded and its cap­tain was taken to court.

France, Lux­em­bourg, the Nether­lands, Por­tu­gal, Norway and Bel­gium (last Sun­day) had al­ready taken in some of the mi­grants brought aboard the ship.

Italy had threat­ened to re­nege on its agree­ment dur­ing the most re­cent stand­off, when some 170 res­cued mi­grants were stranded on board the Ital­ian coast guard ship Di­ciotti. Italy had ar­gued that Malta should take the mi­grants, but Malta in­sisted it was not re­spon­si­ble for them. The ship was even­tu­ally al­lowed to dock at Cata­nia in Si­cily, but the mi­grants were still not al­lowed to dis­em­bark for sev­eral days. They were even­tu­ally let off the ship when the Church said it would take re­spon­si­bil­ity for around hun­dred of the mi­grants.

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