mercredi, juillet 06, 2005

Swing Low Sweet Charter Flight

Have you read the news today?

From today's Independent Online:
"Britain and four other large EU countries will organise joint charter flights to return illegal immigrants to their home countries.

The idea - suggested by Spain - was accepted by Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, and France, Italy and Germany, at a meeting at Evian on the French shore of Lake Geneva yesterday.

"The five largest EU countries are going to organise planes to take illegal immigrants home," said the French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who chaired the meeting.

Giuseppe Pisanu, the Italian Interior Minister, said planes would tour the five countries picking up citizens from a single country of origin. Police from the five countries would join the flight. The first charter would leave "in a matter of days", Mr Pisanu said.

There will be joint naval patrols in the Mediterranean and joint missions by two or three EU countries to countries such as Romania and Albania to try to discourage people from leaving without visas or work permits.

The five countries also agreed in principle to harmonise future requirements on "biometric" identity cards, to make them easier to read by police across the EU and more difficult to forge. The principle of "bio-metric" reading of documents should perhaps be extended to driving licences across the EU, they said.

M. Sarkozy suggested that Poland be invited to join the group to encourage co-operation on crime, terrorism and immigration within the EU."

From today's Times of Malta:

"Labour home affairs spokesman Gavin Gulia said the European Union was being insensitive to the problem of illegal immigrants being faced by Malta. Dr Gulia referred to the funds awarded by the EU to Malta, Italy and Libya, and which amounted to just above Lm400,000 shared between the three countries.

"These funds are miserly when compared to the big problem our country is facing," Dr Gulia said. He pointed out that double the number of migrants had reached Malta's shores this year compared to last. The Labour spokesman said it was unfair of international human rights organisations to chide Malta when the country was simultaneously being refused moral and material support from the EU in dealing with the problem.

Dr Gulia added that the best aid that the EU could provide was by roping in other countries to share the burden by taking up some of the immigrants reaching our shores, especially in light of the fact that Malta was only a transit country and not the real destination for illegal immigrants."

So... who's going to tell Gavin?

My guess is that the Charter Flight will never stop in Malta because:
a) the Nationalist government has not discovered the Evian meetings yet,
b) we have a bunch of inert vegetables representing us in parliament who are good at complaining and begging but no good at getting results,
c) Safi is too far from Luqa and it would cost us too much money to transport illegal immigrants to the airport,
d) airport tax is too high
e) it would seem that Norman Lowell has won,
f) we are not large.

On a more serious note. Don't news items like the one on the Independent kill you? Did we join the European Union or not?

We like fisheries my arse!

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