Malta: Mediterranean Turns into Cemetery, EU Gives Only Empty Talk
Maltese PM Joseph Muscat has voiced strong criticism against Europe as his country struggles to cope with vessels carrying migrants and tragic accidents at sea.
"Right now politicians are thinking about tightening or loosening migration rules. In our case our main concern is these people at sea," he said, as cited by BBC.
"We feel abandoned by Europe. I don't know how many more people need to die at sea before something gets done. We will make sure our voice is heard during the next European Council.
"Rules need to change, whether they are tighter or looser is not the issue, the fact is that this thing is broken and it needs to be fixed."
Muscat said European waters close to Africa are turning into a cemetery, after another boat laden with migrants capsized.
Malta and Italy launched a rescue operation after a boat capsized on Friday, leaving up to 50 people dead.
It happened 120km (70 miles) off Lampedusa, the Italian island where at least 300 migrants drowned last week.
In the latest incident, the vessel carrying more than 200 migrants is believed to have encountered difficulties in Maltese waters just before sunset on Friday.
The migrants used a satellite phone to raise the alarm but the boat capsized when passengers crowded to one side as they tried to get the attention of a passing aircraft, the Maltese navy said.
Earlier on Friday, at least 500 other migrants travelling in separate boats were rescued in coastguard operations near the Italian island of Sicily.
Muscat said prompt action between Malta and Italy had saved lives, but he complained that "from the European side we have heard only talk, empty talk really".
How much "tighter" do they want the "controls" to be? No-one forced these fortune-hunters into the boats and it's high time that maritime law was injected with some sanity; the principle is simple: don't get into a boat for ANY illegal purpose unless you are able to swim to your destination from wherever that vessel happens to sink. And don't expect anything other than one of two outcomes if you do manage to reach Europe: 1 - deportation to whichever country you set sail from, or 2 - if they don't want you, or you choose not to say where that was, you will be thrown back in and invited to swim to the nearest non-European destination.
In these circumstances, Compassion is the same as Stupidity - it's time to stop this nonsense NOW!