Maltese people of all political backgrounds have called out Luigi di Maio, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister, for the shade he threw at Malta during his appearance on Rai Uno’s Porta a Porta Tuesday evening.
While discussing the recent Aquarius row Italy had with Malta, he implied that because Malta was receiving Italian electricity through the interconnector, Malta should have opened its ports and accepted the 629 migrants on the ship, even though they were not in Malta’s Search And Rescue zone.
“We supply Malta with electricity. There’s a cable that begins in Ragusa and supplies them. Then Malta refuses to help the Aquarius that was in the SAR zone assigned to them. I am sorry for Malta,” di Maio said on the show, while incorrectly stating the Aquarius was in Malta’s SAR.
Politicians didn’t take too kindly to the negative comments
@Luigi di Maio thinks Italy is giving electricity to @Malta for free ! It seems that @Italy has elected a group of incompetents who do not know what is really going on. We PAY for our electricity, bello. E sciacquati la bocca prima di parlare di @Malta.
— Marlene Mizzi, MEP (@MarleneMizzi) 20 June 2018
Just to put the record straight, Malta takes in more asylum applications than Italy per capita basis and by the way this tiny nation gives employment to around 20k italians, just saying @luigidimaio #Malta pic.twitter.com/EenZvQWNqI
— Rosianne Cutajar (@RosianneCutajar) 20 June 2018
Some took the opportunity to bring up the importance of Maltese energy independence
While others just let their real feelings be known
@luigidimaio tu sei in gran bugiardo !!! First you bullied #malta with does migrants and now you’re bullying our country with the interconnecter !!! What a piece of shit you are !!! pic.twitter.com/eqkxRd5fie
— Clive (@Clive11048068) 20 June 2018
Sou you think you going to bully us with the Interconnector… No Worries, we send you back all the Sicilians,Italians, and all the Migrants with political asylum in Italy, while working in Malta, and trust me, they are far more then 700 !!! @luigidimaio https://t.co/2L1E1TfvLD
— Alan (@alanciantar) 20 June 2018
Yesterday – Porta a Porta where Hon. Luigi Di Maio was being interviewed.
Discussing the illegal migrants problem Di Maio implicated that in view of the fact that we (Italy) is supplying Malta with energy, Malta should not have taken that stand. Sick
— A. Dalli (@avjdalli) 20 June 2018
Maltese relationships with Italy have been tense over the last few weeks. First, Emma Muscat was kicked off Amici in the semi-finals, with many in Malta taking it as a personal attack from the Italians. Following the Aquarius row some serious tension between the two Mediterranean neighbours has been laid bare.