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MEP Alex Agius Saliba: Malta Shouldn’t Reopen Its Airport Early Just Because Germany Wants To Rush

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Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has opposed a plan by the European People’s Party which would see EU member states, including Malta, reopen for tourism in time for summer.

“I totally disagree with moves by certain MEPs that would see the EU impose on us the date by which our airport should reopen,” Agius Saliba said. “This matter of health competence should remain in the hands of Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci.”

“Malta cannot afford to lose all that we have sacrificed to save the lives of our citizens because Germany wants to rush.”

The European People’s Party yesterday proposed that the EU’s internal Schengen borders should reopen in time for summer while non-Schengen EU countries should also reopen for EU tourists with normal border control measures that were in place before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal was fronted by PN MEP Roberta Metsola, the EPP’s spokesperson on Home Affairs, and MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu, the EPP’s spokesperson on Transport and Tourism, who argued that such a move is necessary to safeguard the tourism industry and the jobs of thousands of people who work in it.

“The closure of borders was necessary at the start of the epidemic to stop cross-border contagion,” Metsola said. “As member states enter into exit strategies, with comprehensive internal measures in place, it is necessary to examine whether closed borders across our Schengen Zone is still required.”

The EU Commission is expected to pronounce itself on this issue later today.

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