Only 8% of migrants arriving in Malta relocated to EU – Minister Bartolo

DOI: Kevin Abela

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Minister for European and Foreign Affairs Evarist Bartolo has stated that in the last fifteen years, only 8% of immigrants arriving in Malta have been relocated to EU countries.

This was said during a bilateral meeting Minister Bartolo had with the Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, during an official visit in Malta.

The Ministers were discussing the situation of irregular migration of Libya. Minister Bartolo added that thanks to the relationship that the Maltese Government has built with the National Consensus Government in Libya and with the help of the Turks, at least 3500 people have been stopped from fleeing to Europe since March.

He explained that this would have resulted in a national crisis with little support from the rest of the European Union. Bartolo stressed that relocation is not the answer and the European Union must work harder to prevent migrants from leaving their countries.

In this context, the Ministers noted that more than two years ago, the Visegrad countries committed €35 million in aid to the Libyan Coast Guard, in order to protect the southern border of Europe which is “fully exposed to the boats of human traffickers and the non-governmental organizations that intercept them.”

During the meeting, the Ministers also spoke about strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism, as well as in the field of education.

They also discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Hungarian Minister Péter Szijjártó expressed appreciation for the role of Malta working to reduce tensions in the region and to find a peaceful solution to existing disputes.