Mediterranean island state Malta faces new influx of illegal immigrants
Malta related news, straight from the Heart of the Mediterranean – Visit www.guidetomalta.net.
Malta is facing yet another influx of illegal immigrants this year, while the European Union seems to be willing to provide financial aid at last.
While Maltese diplomats have been relentlessly trying to get the European Union’s support, boatloads of illegal immigrants are stretching the already overstretched resources available in Malta. Fellow European Member States have so far been reluctant to provide Malta with the necessary financial and political aid to help solve the ever increasing problem. Although a number of immigrants were taken up by other Member States in 2006, these were very few and were carefully selected based on educational background and expertise.
Following a recent visit by European Commission President José Manuel Barrosso and efforts made by European Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini, it seems new funds have been allocated to aid Malta financially, in the form of project funding, within the coming weeks.
Edward Penza, Managing Director of independent Malta travel guide GuideToMalta.net, comments: “The burden of illegal immigration on Malta is taking on dangerous proportions and many Maltese feel an increasing sense of abandonment by an institution they gave their vote of confidence a few years earlier [referendum on EU accession]. Without financial support from the European Union, the development of Malta as a European state is badly impacted and a solution is needed urgently. Malta cannot be left to fend for itself trying whilst trying to deal with migrants trying to make the crossing from Africa to European mainland.”
Awaiting calm seas during the winter months, thousands of immigrants depart from Northern African countries such as Libya at the start of spring, trying to make it across the Mediterranean to reach Europe and what they hope is a better chance in life. Immigrants of various African nationalities board small vessels and sometimes even dinghies, having paid a small fortune for this rare window of opportunity.
Malta’s fight for support from the EU seems to be paying off. But although there seems to be light at the horizon, new groups of migrants find their way to Malta every day and a structural solution is yet to be found.
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- Edward Penza
- Managing Director
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