PN councillor Justin Schembri has strongly suggested Malta should close its ports to migrant search-and-rescue vessels as he urged the country’s political leaders to follow the example set by Italy’s deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.
“Perhaps several people brand Salvini as a racist but the chances are that he is actually a sensible person who wants to stop this senseless human trafficking and doesn’t want his country to be complicit in this wave of organised crime,” Schembri, a Birkirkara councillor, said.
“I disagree with Salvini on many counts, including that there’s a serious unemployment problem in his country, which is prompting many Italians to seek work in other countries, including Malta. However, I admire his capability in standing up to the EU and his own Prime Minister.”
Schembri passed his remarks in the wake of the news that 365 migrants on board the NGO-run vessel Ocean Viking will be brought to Malta after a two-week standoff between Malta and Italy. After landing in Malta, the migrants will be distributed to France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania.
PN leader Adrian Delia had earlier urged the government to accept the migrants, arguing that political leaders are morally obliged to rise above populism where human lives are concerned.
Malta is a small country. Physically, we're one of the smallest nations in the world. We cannot, physically, assume the…
“The cry of the majority in Malta is for the government and Opposition to unite against this organised crime but it seems no one has the guts to put his foot down and say ‘no’ because they are scared of criticism,” Schembri claimed. “Our politicians have an obligation to safeguard our children’s heritage but they are constantly failing us and ignoring the cries of the public. Why don’t we have politicians of the stature of [Dom] Mintoff and [George] Borg Olivier?”
“Call me a racist, I don’t care, but someday someone will have to give a voice to the public sentiment. Patriots must first and foremost believe in the Maltese dream, and this has always been for Malta to belong to the Maltese.”