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77 migrants rescued by AFM

AFM patrol boat rescues 77 migrants at sea, migrants expected to arrive tonight.

20 August 2012, 12:00am
157 migrants landed last week and another four persons died at sea (File photo: AFM/Justin Gatt)
An AFM patrol boat rescued 77 migrants from a dinghy and will bring them in to Malta at around midnight, the AFM said in a statement issued this evening.

The army explained it was informed of the presence of the dinghy in Malta's Search and Rescue Region earlier today, which was then located by the AFM's King Air aircraft.

After sending a patrol boat to the dinghy, the AFM decided to transfer the 77 migrants onboard the AFM vessel since the dinghy was not in a position to continue its voyage.

Their arrival follows the rescue of three groups of migrants, totaling 157, last week. Four migrants lost their lives in last week's landings.

A total of 1,360 migrants have landed in Malta this year.

 

 

 

Louise Vella
Can Dr Gonzi please tell us if he will go on bringing these illegal immigrants to Malta even if we get 77 of them every day? That would mean 7 x 77 = 539 per week. Or 30 x 77 = 2310 per month. Or 2310 x 12 = 27 720 in a whole year; Can Dr Gonzi please tell us if he intends to continue defying the will of the majority of the common people of these islands by not setting a limit to the numbers of illegal immigrants that he is letting into Malta?
Louise Vella
At the PN web conference on 22 July 2012 I put 3 questions to Dr Gonzi: 1. Int tghid lest tigbor eluf kbar ta’ immigranti illegali biex imbaghad l-Ewropa tohodhomlna bil-burden sharing. Issa li l-burden sharing falliet, lest tkompli taghmilha tar-ruffjan tal-Gizwiti u l-UNHCR u toqghod tibghat lill-armata ggib lill-immigranti illegali lejn Malta? 2. Il-UNHCR u l-EASO qeghdin ihajru lill-immigranti illegali li hemm il-Libja biex jitilqu bid-dghajjes lejn l-Ewropa fil-bnazzi tas-sajf. Ma thossx li dawn l-organizzazzjonijiet qed jipprofittaw rwiehhom iz-zejjed mid-djufija ta’ Malta f’dan ir-rigward? 3. Kemm-il elf vot tahseb lil-Gvern rebah bil-politika ta’ djufija rigward l-immigranti illegali ? Dr Gonzi replied that his policy was twofold. First, to go and pick up the illegal immigrants when in so-called ‘distress’. Second, to persuade our partners in the EU to help us by burden-sharing and taking some of them off our back. To the Maltese this may sound like the pious statement of a past President of Catholic Action. To the illegal immigrants waiting on the Libyan coast it sounds like a guarantee by the prime minister of Malta that whatever their numbers, if they are in distress or feigning distress or if they put themselves deliberately in distress, he will send the AFM to bring them to Malta. Is this the way to defend Malta’s national interest?