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