Immigration: Spain offers to help once more

Mission Lifeline
Hermine Poschmann/Misson-Lifeline/Handout via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Spain made contact with Malta to offer humanitarian aid to the ship that was carrying 239 immigrants subject of another dispute with Italy.

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, continued his pressure on Malta and the rest of the European Union in a tweet said asked Malta to open its doors to welcome 239 immigrant collected by a Lifeline ship, now located in Maltese territorial waters.

Salvini said that after taking in these immigrants, the Maltese authorities should seize the ship and prevent the crew from continuing its work. Salvini considers the work of humanitarian organisations as human trafficking.

Problems in Hungary and Germany

Salvini’s request all said in a tweet continues to anger many European Union leaders who will meet on Sunday.

Observers note that the controversy about how to check immigration is the biggest problem currently faced by the European Union. Apart from pressures from the right-wing Italian Government, there is pressure from other Central European countries. This week the Hungarian parliament approved very strict laws against organisations that help immigrants.

The controversy surrounding immigration is also threatening Angela Merkel’s German Government. The German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, warned that if Merkel does not convince the EU leaders to take action they will start sending back migrants who have already been registered in other European countries. Many do not expect that the summit on Sunday will manage to solve the problem.

“All member states should help” – Commissioner

European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that all member states must help southern European nations, which reach the highest number of immigrants they could accomodate.

“I think that all European nations should show solidarity with affected countries such as Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.”