Aquarius standoff: PN MEP Roberta Metsola takes dig at Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

While Adrian Delia offers Opposition's support on migrant standoff with Italy, PN MEP Roberta Metsola has described the squabble as a ‘sad battle of populists’ between the Maltese Prime Minister and Italy’s Matteo Salvini

PN MEP Roberta Metsola
PN MEP Roberta Metsola

Nationalist Party MEP Roberta Metsola has taken a pot shot against Joseph Muscat over the developing migrant crisis, describing him as a ‘populist’ in a ‘contest of one-upmanship’.

In a tweet on the current standoff between Malta and Italy over the fate of 629 migrants blocked on a humanitarian ship, Metsola described the standoff as a “sad battle of populists” between Malta’s Prime Minister and Italian Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini.

Roberta Metsola tweeting her disdain at Joseph Muscat's stand on the migrant crisis with Italy
Roberta Metsola tweeting her disdain at Joseph Muscat's stand on the migrant crisis with Italy

While she does call on the EU not to leave Malta and Italy on their own, Metsola’s dig at Muscat contrasts with the message of support relayed on Sunday by Opposition leader Adrian Delia for government’s stand.

Adrian Delia tweeted that Malta must stand strong
Adrian Delia tweeted that Malta must stand strong

The PN leader said the national interest came first and foremost. “Malta should hold strong and firm to safeguard its national interest,” Delia said.

The Aquarius, a rescue vessel run by Medecins Sans Frontieres, is currently stranded in international waters after Italy closed its ports. Malta has refused the ship entry, insisting it was abiding by international law.

Miriam Dalli has accused the Italian government of breaching international law
Miriam Dalli has accused the Italian government of breaching international law

Meanwhile, from Brussels, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli also urged the EU to “seriously prioritise migration”, insisting this is not an issue for Malta and Italy alone.

Dalli accused the Italian government of breaching international maritime laws by refusing to allow the Aquarius to berth in its ports.

READ ALSO: Aquarius standoff: As Malta and Italy squabble, migrants pray on stranded ship

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