Watch: “The EU failed Malta on migration” – PM Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that with the decision taken to disembark in Malta over 400 migrants which were on board Captain Morgan vessels, he had to choose between a populist decision or opting to save the lives of the Maltese crew on board the vessels.

The leader of the Labour Party stated this in an interview on Sunday morning on One TV.

Yesterday night, after what according to sources who spoke to were hours of delicate negotiations, the government of Malta relented and permitted the migrants aboard the Captain Morgan’s Europa II to berth in Malta.

The government said that this decision had been taken after the situation on board the boat had become very difficult.

Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed that members of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) were ready to board the vessels however, the was against this decision so as not to put their lives in danger.

Abela said that the migrants on board the Captain Morgan vessels started protesting and the situation on board became more difficult when the migrants used knives and threatened the crew they would explode the Europa II vessel.

Robert Abela said that the European Union acted irresponsibly towards Malta in view of the migration crisis. A situation that created anger amongst the Maltese towards the European institutions, said Abela.

“We had a bulletproof vest in our luggage”

Regarding his visit to Libya, Prime Minister Abela said that although it was a dangerous trip as they were warned that the plane could be a target to rebel forces. Abela explained that he was determined to go to Libya and discuss the issue of migration as the solution to the crisis needs to being with Libya. He then mentioned that in their luggage they did not carry their personal belongings but a bulletproof vest.

Tomorrow’s budget will create an economic stimulus – Abela

Robert Abela said that the budget to be presented tomorrow is possible because the government did not opt for a lockdown to control the coronavirus transmission within the community.

The Prime Minister said that the measures to be announced on Monday will help businesses to retain their employees and to ideally recruit more, thus creating an economic stimulus.

He then said that the government wants people to spend money and enjoy Summer.

Another issued Abela was interviewed on regarded the lay-offs of 69 Air Malta pilots. Prime Minister Abela said that the Association representing Air Malta’s pilots, ALPA, was the only union that did not accept the airline’s offer in view of the crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Abela said that now it is up to ALPA to remedy the situation. He also said that a more practical business model is required for the national airline and that he is against certain work conditions pilots benefit from such as the service of a chauffeur in order to report to work.