Gaddafi hand in migrant influx not excluded – minister

Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici doesn’t exclude Libyan dictator Col Gaddafi’s hand in migrant influx but says he the dictator “doubts he has peace of mind or attention to spare what with having a civil war to deal with”.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Minister for Justice and Home affairs Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said he could not exclude that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was behind the sudden influx of migrants and asylum seekers to Italy and Malta.

He however expressed doubts whether Gaddafi had either the “attention” or the “peace of mind” to spare simply to “get back at the EU” at a time when he as a “civil war to handle.”

Mifsud Bonnici was responding to claims by Alternattiva Demokratika that “it was clear” that the Gaddafi regime was resorting to “known blackmailing tactics by ‘invading’ the European continent with asylum seekers.”

So far, around 2,000 Eritreans, Somalis and Sudanese fled Tripoli by boat to Italy and Malta in the last four days. Asked for a reaction, Mifsud Bonnici said “we would be kidding ourselves if we consider this influx as the ‘normal’ immigration Malta is accustomed to seeing.”

He added that Malta is only witnessing the beginning of this of this “huge humanitarian wave that is emerging from Libya which we need to be prepared for.” Mifsud Bonnici said that even the way the immigrants were ‘packed’ on the Libyan boats shows a perceptible desperation to leave the increasingly destabilised country.

Mifsud Bonnici said that this was “not normal immigration” as those landing in Malta and Lampedusa are not simply “normal” migrants searching for better economic prospects, but displaced refugees fleeing from a civil war.

“It is evident from the increased presence of women and children on board the boats and the fact that some even brought suitcases with their bare necessities.” He also said Malta’s position in calling for more support on immigration for the past years remains unchanged.

He said that this unique influx of immigration required an adequately unique response by the EU which goes further than the conventional burden sharing systems in place so far.

Mifsud Bonnici also said that the influx so far only seems to be the start, but added that so far Malta “is not yet full up.” He added that Malta would keep doing its best to keep receiving the refugees, while calling for greater EU solidarity in this regard.

“If this is not forthcoming, we will be forced to make our own decisions,” he said, without disclosing what those measures would be. “But I think that the idea that a holistic package to address migration is called for is permeating into the European mindset.”

Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil has called upon the European Commission to activate the Solidarity Mechanism envisaged in EU law in cases of mass influx of displaced persons. “EU law already provides for a solidarity mechanism that can be triggered in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons. We call upon the Commission to activate it,”

Busuttil and Italian MEP Salvatore Iacolino said. The decision is taken by the Council of Ministers deciding by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission. It has the effect of introducing temporary protection of the displaced persons in all EU countries and to include information about the reception capacity of individual Member States. The decision is binding on all Member States.

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You should have thought of this consequence before, Sur Carm. Now it's too late and you have pretty small chances of mending fences with no-funny-business Maroni either.
What is certain and clear we should thank sarkozy and cameron..i hope they give us also some of the oil revenue