Club Dead: EU immigration laws turning Mediterranean into Graveyard- Malta PM

Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat said Saturday that the European Union’s inaction on immigration reform is turning the Mediterranean into a graveyard.

UPI quotes him as saying:

“I don’t know how many more people need to die at sea before something gets done … 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… As things stand we are building a cemetery within our Mediterranean Sea.”

On October 11, a ship carrying migrants capsized off Malta, spilling 200 persons into the water. Some 33 drowned but the Italian coastguard rescued the others.

Euronews reports

The week before, 319 migrants died when their vessel capsized near Italy.

In the past 15 years, some 14,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe. That is nearly 1000 a year

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that 32,000 migrants have reached southern Italy and Malta so far in 2013, and about two thirds of them have applied for asylum.

Many are from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, though Syrians have joined the risky trek in some numbers recently.

CSM quotes sources saying Europe needs to attack human trafficking networks to stop the carnage.

18 Responses

  1. I can see the problem but I can’t see a solution.

    The median age in Ethiopia and Somalia is around 17 while in Europe it is close to 40. There are tens of millions wanting to escape to a new life but it will not improve conditions in their home country as they leave as the high birth rate simply replaces them. Several nations – including Ireland – have exported several times their population without having a noticeable change in home country population or living levels. Beyond these countries are a host of others, all with high birth rates and enormous social problems.

    The impact on Europe of millions of migrants will have a massive environmental cost. Europe’s population is not currently increasing and this allows energy use to switch to renewable sources. The growth in human population is the major threat to the remaining wild areas, the quality of air and water, and food security itself.

    How then to prevent illegal migration? Australia tries to intercept boats but is then left with mushrooming internment camps. What can Europe try to do differently – intercept and dump back on an African beach?

    • Several nations – including Ireland – have exported several times their population without having a noticeable change in home country population or living levels

      How do you explain Ireland’s population going from 8 to 4 million in 60 years, then? (see here.) 1 million died in the Famine, but that still leaves 3 million unaccounted for if emigration has no impact on population levels.

  2. the island is Lampedusa.
    Both boats were headed there, and foundered near there.
    That’s been the primary target of boats overfilled with African immigrants for decades.
    It’s Italian territory, but only 80 miles from Tunisian beaches.

    I got no facks, but Syrians taking that route sounds dubitable to me.

    • of note,
      more Eritreans, Ethiopeans and Somalis die trying to cross the Baab to Yemen than trying to cross the Med to Italy.

  3. Simply shameful.
    Billions spent toppling Ghadaffi, supposedly with the welfare of the Lybian people in mind, while Nato war vessels intentionally looked the other way when distressed boats loaded with migrant men, women and children sought help. Those are extremely busy sea lanes. The locals in Lampedusa cry murder for a reason. Let us just admit we don’t care.

  4. Quite a large number of these people are coming from Libya. They weren’t coming from that Country before Britain, France and America undermined Gaddafi and sent in our own terrorist and well armed army of criminals. Libya is now in chaos and all but destroyed thanks to our blatant interference and regime change, contrary to international law. There are now a massive number of refugees from Syria, who again weren’t fleeing their Country before our halfwit foreign secretary, William Hague, Cameron and Obama, tacitly armed, financed and supported disparate gangs of terrorists. Apparently, most of the terrorists in Syria are from outside the Country and get their arms from us by way of our proxy war partners in Saudi Arabia, that bastion of democracy who the West call their friends ! I would have hoped all these refugees would have headed for France and the UK. We broke it, so we should fix it and take in all who want to leave.

  5. The problem is not EU failure to accept all people who want to live there, the problem is poverty in Africa. Solve that and there will be no more suicide missions by desperate people.

    • Did I not read that the flow of “economic migrants” from Mexico and points south into the US fell off dramatically with two changes: The massive theft of real wealth that was the 2008 economic dump, and the increase in healthy economic activity and opportunity in Those Little Countries? Not a perfect and universal phenomenon, but a set of reasons for measurable change in body counts across the Rio Grande…

      But there’s a ready prescription, of course, in the form of jolly avuncular advice to those little nations over there in the EU to “tighten up their laws…”

  6. The European Union’s asylum laws are probably too lax, as that is the magnet that pulls the illegal immigrants to make the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean in their attempt to reach Europe and seek asylum. If the EU were to tighten up their asylum laws and make it much more difficult for illegal immigrants who reach EU soil to gain asylum, and if they were sent back, the flow would drop to a trickle.

    Most of the illegal immigrants seeking asylum are not really political of social refugees under the United Nations definition. The vast majority are economic migrants who want a better life. One cannot blame them, of course, but the EU has neither the responsibility nor the obligation to accommodate them.

    • Uh, any citations here Bill? Lots of assertion, but not much backing up with any hard evidence. This is the sort of ex cathedra pronouncement sans evidence that you often refer to in others as risible (see, e.g., your comment on Snowden below).

      • It is a worldwide phenomenon, Ad Hominem, that the vast majority of illegal immigration is driven by the hope of economic advancement and to escape instability, not because of actual political persecution. That is the case whether the illegal immigration occurs across the Rio Grande or across the Mediterranean.

        There is no hard evidence that tightening asylum laws would stem such illegal immigration because it has not been done yet, either in the United States or in the European Union. In both cases, once these illegal immigrants reach soil and make a claim of political asylum, they cannot be turned away until their cases are adjudicated. Common sense, however, suggests that if asylum laws were tightened and those attempting to use the system for economic gain were denied and turned back, the flow would drop to a trickle.

        • Ah, yes, “there is no hard evidence,” but “common sense suggests.” And “common sense” suggested Saddam had WMD, and was “supporting terrorists…” And lots of other stuff, like how “austerity” will save the world’s economies from something or other…

        • Sorry, Mr. McPhee, but what does your comment have to do with illigal migrants to the EU?

  7. Don’t give the right wingers any ideas.

    I’m sure quite a lot of them see this as a solution to our immigration problem.

  8. Europeans are probably just scared to change the immigration rules since like us they are going through the worst economic recession after the meltdown in 2008 and trying to hold on to their jobs. It’s sad what happening with all these drownings at sea. But how would you feel if you were a European and just really worried about holding on to your job?

  9. That is just so sad :( They should put more security in the sea, to prevent tragedy’s like this :\

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