Malta PM says reached deal for 49 migrants to disembark

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32 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean on the ship "Sea-Watch-3"

  • published: 08 Jan 2019
  • views: 7764

The crew of the Sea-Watch-3 boat has been waiting for seventeen days off the Maltese coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, to be able to disembark the migrants it has rescued.

The Sea-Watch-3 is currently hosting 32 migrants, including three children, who have been waiting in the Mediterranean since 22 December. Some began January 7 to stop feeding, the diplomatic crisis on their fate dragging on. Another ship, chartered by the non-governmental organization Sea-Eye, is home to 17 migrants since December 29, bringing to 49 the number of people to disembark.

Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal and Malta have expressed their willingness to host some of these migrants, provided that the operation is part of a collective European effort. Like Romania, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union and has accepted to receive five. No decision has yet been made.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on January 6 that he did not want to create a "precedent" by allowing these migrants to disembark. According to Italian media reports, Malta demands that at least some of the 249 migrants whom it has rescued and welcomed in recent days be included in a possible agreement. This small country of 450,000 inhabitants, close to Libya, fears becoming the main gateway for migrants in Europe now that Italy refuses this status.

Pope Francis on 6 January launched an "urgent appeal" to European leaders to finally welcome these migrants.

On board these ships …

32 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean on the ship "Sea-Watch-3"

  • published: 08 Jan 2019
  • views: 7764

The crew of the Sea-Watch-3 boat has been waiting for seventeen days off the Maltese coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, to be able to disembark the migrants it has rescued.

The Sea-Watch-3 is currently hosting 32 migrants, including three children, who have been waiting in the Mediterranean since 22 December. Some began January 7 to stop feeding, the diplomatic crisis on their fate dragging on. Another ship, chartered by the non-governmental organization Sea-Eye, is home to 17 migrants since December 29, bringing to 49 the number of people to disembark.

Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal and Malta have expressed their willingness to host some of these migrants, provided that the operation is part of a collective European effort. Like Romania, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union and has accepted to receive five. No decision has yet been made.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on January 6 that he did not want to create a "precedent" by allowing these migrants to disembark. According to Italian media reports, Malta demands that at least some of the 249 migrants whom it has rescued and welcomed in recent days be included in a possible agreement. This small country of 450,000 inhabitants, close to Libya, fears becoming the main gateway for migrants in Europe now that Italy refuses this status.

Pope Francis on 6 January launched an "urgent appeal" to European leaders to finally welcome these migrants.

On board these ships …