Ship captain largely responsible for Lifeline situation, Muscat says

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he is awaiting the results of an independent investigation and decision from the courts on Lifeline captain • Parliament passed 45 bills into law in first year of this administration

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that that Malta's strategy on migration is bringing solutions
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that that Malta's strategy on migration is bringing solutions

The MV Lifeline ship captain is in court because he did not obey orders by the authorities, Joseph Muscat said on Sunday.

“The court case relating to Lifeline was triggered by the captain who refused to obey orders. We are awaiting an independent decision from the court,” the Prime Minister said during a telephone interview on One Radio.

Lifeline captain Claus-Peter Reisch is facing charges in a Maltese court over what the police claim is the ship's irregular registration.

The way that Malta handled the situation was an approach which brought results, Muscat said, as it was the first time that the country accepted migrants even though it was not obliged to do so.

“This is the first time in our country that people came in even though we were not to blame,” Muscat said.

Muscat said that the fact that the issue was solved is evidence that the government is capable of discussing around a table, both in Malta and internationally, in order to arrive to a solution. 

“Slowly but surely, the government has found solutions to a number of issues without making a fuss,” Muscat said.

Over 50 people were sent to France a mere week after the situation unfolded, Muscat said, explaining that the Armed Forces of Malta were involved in the rescue of even more people in the past few days, as they always are. “Whoever tries to say that the AFM are not doing their job are disconnected from reality,” the prime minister said.

First year of government's second term a 'record' for parliament

The government enacted 45 new laws in its first year of the second term – a "record" according to Muscat.  "It was a record for the begining of a legislature, not only in terms of the number of laws but also their quality," he said, listing marriage equality, domestic violence, medicinal marijauna, and IVF laws as examples.

Among the laws were ones related to financial and technological industries, but Muscat said that international companies began moving to Malta even before these laws were put into place. "This creates quality employment for both the current and upcoming generations, and I am satisified that we managed to actualise our plan in a short amount of time – practically within a year."

The work of the government will not halt for the summer, Muscat said, as a number of reforms are yet to be enacted.