EU Immigration: ‘Malta Is the Smallest State, and We Are Carrying a Burden That Is Much Bigger than Any Other Country’

Colin Freeman et al., Telegraph (London), July 21, 2013

Mohammed Abdi, an asylum seeker from Somalia, counts himself to have made two new sets of friends this month. One is the “generous” people of Malta, who took him and 102 other African migrants in after their boat got into difficulties as it trafficked them towards Europe from Libya.

The other is the European Court of Human Rights, which stopped Malta’s not-so-generous prime minister, Joseph Muscat, from flying them back to Libya after claiming the island could not cope with more illegal immigrants.

“It would have been wrong to send us back to Libya,” beamed Abdi, 30, who now lives in a dormitory in an immigration detention centre surrounded by 20 foot high barbed wire fences. “We are sorry for the people of Malta, who are very generous, but we do need help as conditions are terrible in my country.”

Perched on a tiny but strategic set of islands between Europe and Africa, the Maltese have long prided themselves on their ability to repel unwanted invaders. In the 1500s, their resident Knights of St John were the heroes of Europe after seeing off the Ottoman Turks, and in the Second World War, they won the George Cross for helping Britain to keep Hitler at bay.

Their latest efforts to turn back a foreign armada, however, are unlikely to win such plaudits. Or not from the European Union, anyway, which last week was embroiled in a bitter row with Mr Muscat’s government over its plans to return Mr Abdi and his ilk to Libya, from where they came in a people-smuggling boat 12 days ago.

The boat, which was picked up by the Maltese Coastguard, was the 14th to arrive this year alone, and came just a week after another one carrying 290 people. Altogether, 1,079 refugees have arrived in similar fashion in Malta this year alone, and 17,743 in the last decade.

But in the EU’s smallest state, which has just 400,000 people and is roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, that is a lot more than it might sound.

The equivalent in Britain would be 2,500,000 extra people – roughly the equivalent of two Birminghams – a point not lost on Mr Muscat, who last week accused Brussels of lecturing his country about human rights while doing nothing to share the burden.

“Right now we cannot cope with these numbers, they are unsustainable,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “Malta is the smallest state in the EU, and we are carrying a burden that is much bigger than any other country.”

Mr Muscat, 39, who studied at Bristol University, was speaking during an official visit to Rome last week, shortly after the European Court of Human Rights had issued an interim order blocking any moves to fly the Somalis back to Libya.

Strasbourg’s judges backed claims by Maltese human rights groups and EU commissioners that Mr Muscat was violating EU law by not allowing them to make asylum claims first, and that the move was an illegal “push-back”.

“This is not push back, it is a message that we are not push-overs,” retorted Mr Muscat. He added that as a contributor to the EU bailouts of its southern European neighbours, Malta should expect the EU to offer something in return. “People say solidarity, solidarity, but then nothing happens.”

Whether Mr Muscat, whose centre-Left Labour Party resents the charges of xenophobia that have been thrown at it, really intended to carry out the “push back” is a matter of debate.

Some suspect it was just a stunt to force Brussels to give practical help rather than high-handed lectures. As Mr Muscat himself puts it: “We have stamped our feet to say look guys, don’t leave us alone.”

But either way, the row has highlighted how Malta – and nearby Italy – is struggling to reconcile their obligations as EU states with their unsought role as the doormat for illegal migrants from Africa seeking entry to Europe.

As Europe’s most southerly nation – it lies level with Tunisia – Malta’s immigration problems are not just about numbers. While Britain frets about an influx of educated, English-speaking Eastern Europeans, Malta contends mainly with arrivals from the poorest and most war-torn parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Most arrive largely destitute, having blown most of their savings on an €700 people’s smuggler’s fee and the gruelling 15-day trip by truck and foot across the Sahara. And although a certain resourcefulness is needed to make that journey in first place, many have little schooling and speak neither Maltese or English, the island’s second language.

Hence the groups of Africans who gather at certain road junctions around the capital, Valletta, hoping for labouring work from passing builder and hoteliers. It can be a long wait.

“I have been here a month, and have found nothing,” said Goodluck Ajeh, 25, a footballer originally from Nigeria. “I will take any job – right now I am just looking for my daily bread.”

Unusually for an EU country, Malta makes all illegal immigrants stay in secure detention centres while their asylum claims are processed, a process that can take up to 18 months. But when that time expires, few in practice are sent back. Nearly 90 per cent are from Somalia and Eritrea, both countries deemed too dangerous for deportation to.

Libya is likewise deemed off-limits, because of a wave of reprisals carried out against black Africans for their role in fighting as mercenaries for Colonel Gaddafi in Libya’s civil war.

Instead, they end up languishing in large, government-run hostels and overcrowded rented homes, where they stand out conspicuously. While the locals pride themselves on being a tolerant, cosmopolitan people – large numbers of Maltese live abroad as immigrants themselves – there are tensions in areas like Marsa, a shipyard town of 6,000.

“For a place our size to be invaded by about 1,000 immigrants in the last six or seven years is a big shock,” said Marsa’s Labour mayor, Francis Debona, 53. “It’s not because they are black, it’s just a matter of suddenly having another big population with cultures and practices that are very different to our own.

“It’s all very for the European Court to say these people can’t be sent back, but their judges don’t live around here, do they?”

A straw poll by The Sunday Telegraph revealed a mixture of views around Marsa. Some insisted the migrants caused no particular trouble, a view backed by Andrew Seychell, Malta’s senior immigration policeman, who says there is no sign of an associated crime wave. Others, though, accused them of unclean habits and blamed them for a drop in house prices.

“Every night you see them around here, drinking and making a mess,” said Raymond Zammit, 51, pointing to stains on the pavement near his tyre business which he said were caused variously by beer, wine and urine.

“The kids feel afraid to play in the parks,” added Gerard Camelleri, 59. “In another few years, Malta is going to be African.”

In fact, few African immigrants seek to put down roots down in Malta, preferring instead to head to mainland Europe, where job prospects are better, and where they can legally go under the Schengen arrangements.

But that creates another problem. The rules insist they must return to the country where they first claimed asylum within three months, and while the majority simply overstay, every year hundreds are caught and forcibly returned to Malta from other Schengen countries.

As such, few the estimated 5,000 currently resident in Malta have any real interest in settling, and therefore little incentive to integrate.

“Some will try five times a year to leave Malta for somewhere better,” said one refugee worker. “Then, every time they are sent back, they start at square one again.”

This weekend, it seemed that Mr Muscat’s outburst had achhieved some of the desired effect. Having ticked Malta off over the “push-back” talk, the European home affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, offered to make extra emergency funds available and also pledged to do more to get other EU states to take some of Malta’s immigrants.

A transfer scheme is already in place, but over the past decade other European nations have taken only 700 of Malta’s arrivals, with the US taking 1,300.

At the same time, the government embarked on a public relations damage-limitation exercise, attempting to allay concerns about asylum seekers’ treatment with a visit to the detention centre where the Somalis were being held.

Mr Abdi, the Somali who had dodged deportation, told The Sunday Telegraph he was “very happy with the conditions, and very happy to be here”.

Whether his cheer will survive a stay in the detention centre and a spell of roadside job seeking is, however, another matter.

And likewise, if as expected more boats continue to arrive in Mr Abdi’s wake, it may no longer just be Mr Muscat stamping his feet.


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  • Spartacus

    “The other is the European Court of Human Rights, which stopped Malta’s
    not-so-generous prime minister, Joseph Muscat, from flying them back to
    Libya after claiming the island could not cope with more illegal


    Ignore the damn EUSSR and kick them out ! Throw them in the ocean !

    • So CAL Snowman

      Seriously, what is the EUSSR going to do, invade Malta?

  • IstvanIN

    The picture above is both disgusting and scary. Once the invaders enter Maltese waters they should be ordered out and, if they fail to do so, sunk.

    • Sick of it

      The guy on the bottom left looks exactly like a Somali pirate I’d seen in a picture years ago.

  • jeffaral

    The mass invasion of Europe is out of control. Race war is looming on the horizon.

    • Romulus

      Thank God. It can’t start soon enough. Especially for the traitor scum “usual suspects”

  • David Ashton

    “No quantity of atom bombs could stem the tide of billions who someday will leave the poor southern part of the world to erupt into the relatively accessible spaces of the rich northern hemisphere looking for survival” – President Boumedienne of Algeria, 1974, quoted at the front of Jean Raspail’s “Camp of the Saints” (London 1977).

    • IstvanIN

      Oh, I bet enough bombs could turn them back, or at least make them so backward that even walking out of the jungle would be impossible.

      • David Ashton

        Science could come up with something possibly “non-lethal” but effective. The Israelis were said to be working on ethnic weaponry.

        • IstvanIN

          A virus that would sterilize all third worlders would be a God send.

          • Triarius

            A virus that either attacked or lay dormant based on genetics. I have dreamed about that. Although it may be plausible with nanotechnology farther down the road.

        • dmxinc

          Already been done. Recumbent DNA biological weapons kill based on race.

          • So CAL Snowman

            Yep the Chinese allegedly have race specific bio-weapons. If the Chinese have them you can be sure that the West does as well.

          • David Ashton

            Actually not so sure.

          • dmxinc

            The Russians were who we were told that had them to use on the Chinese.

          • Bantu_Education

            I heard a rumour that this had been sub-contracted to N.Korea. And no prizes for guessing which race is targeted.

          • Bantu_Education

            I very much doubt the West has race-specific bio weapons. If we did then they would probably be targeted at Orientals (since Arabs are closer related to us) and some tormented liberal scientist – or even a John Engelman – would have felt it his moral duty to blow the whistle by now if we had. The Chinese and Koreans of course do not have any such qualms. As for the blacks the most effective bio-weapon against them is just to stop feeding the parasites.

          • David Ashton

            Detailed references please.

          • dmxinc

            Military chem warfare training in the ’80’s.

          • David Ashton

            Thanks. More on this subject would be interesting on this site.

        • Sick of it

          Triracial people may have difficulty using any sort of ethnic weaponry.

          • David Ashton

            Or being affected by it?

            There is the melanist conspiracy theory that HIV/AIDS was intended to wipe out the black Africans or at least reduce their birth-rate, but it has only added to the “white man’s burden”. Wouldn’t the Los Angeles bath-houses aka buggery warrens have been an unlikely seedbed for politically incorrect negrocide?

        • Bantu_Education

          That would be difficult considering they are so ethnically similar to their enemies.

          • Sick of it

            Indeed. Gene specific weapons will target anyone with those genes. Not a great idea if one’s own people may possess them as well.

        • Romulus

          Interesting that they can do that without fear of reprisal. Considering the collective wisdom we share about them.

  • Puggg

    Dear Europe:

    Your Detroit is showing.



  • A picture of “Africa’s finest” …..

    ….. Goodluck Ajeh, 25, a footballer originally from Nigeria. “I will take any job – right now I am just looking for my daily bread.”

    His job in Nigeria was “footballer”? This Nigerian has never done an honest day’s work in his life. He is a leech, just looking for his daily Euros, or as he calls it bread.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      Yes, he should really describe himself as an “aspiring rapper.”

  • Extropico

    At current population growth rates, Africa will have 4 billion people by 2100. It will take Bill Gates, infinite birth control and military force to stymie an African refugee invasion that would lay waste to the First World.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Africa will be a smoking cinder by 2100 . . .

    • Erasmus

      This is precisely why I no longer send money to feed starving 3rd worlders. Feeding them solves a short term problem but creates a long term one. My charity goes to take care of select folk from among my own community.

      • Extropico

        The refugee “charities” are frauds. It is a financial business that is supported with our tax dollars.

  • MekongDelta69

    “In the 1500s, their resident Knights of St John were the heroes of Europe after seeing off the Ottoman Turks… (etc.)”

    Yeah, but in the 1500s, they didn’t have the marxist, anti-white European Court of Human Wrongs.

  • bigone4u

    “The kids feel afraid to play in the parks,”
    Just like the kids in America and for the same reason. Africans pose a danger wherever they come from and wherever they go. Some Europeans are finally getting it.

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    What is the difference between them and an invading army?

    • Romulus

      One is armed with weapons, the other with their seed! Both have dire consequences.

      • Erasmus

        That is precisely why the tens of millions of illegal aliens here in the US must be viewed as an enemy horde and why those who are pushing to amnesty them are cowards and traitors, as completely treasonous and disloyal as any Benedict Arnold.

      • Sick of it

        Those armed with weapons are less dangerous.

  • NorthernWind

    Never should have joined the communist EU. I recommend leaving immediately and then enforcing their laws as they see fit and not according to some commissars in Brussels.

  • Truthseeker

    Nearly 90 per cent are from Somalia and Eritrea, both countries deemed too dangerous for deportation to.

    In other words, their people turned their countries into hellholes, and instead of fixing their own problems, they ditched them to find a new place that hadn’t been ruined yet. The stock these escapees come from presents such a large threat that it would be inhumane to place them back among others of their stock, so the Europeans are required by law to keep said stock in their countries. Brilliant!

    • IstvanIN

      …and then they can ruin Europe!

  • libertarian1234

    I think the entire continent of Europe….except for the Russian portion….should just give in to their rainbow utopian elements and rename the entire European Union.

    The name most apropos to my way of thinking would be Detroit.

  • YourMOMA

    “It’s not because they are black, it’s just a matter of suddenly having another big population with cultures and practices that are very different to our own.”

    No, it’s because they have no skills and will only be a burden on everyone else in Europe.

    • MBlanc46

      “No, it’s because they have no skills and will only be a burden on everyone else in Europe.

      Which is just what they want to be.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      “No, it’s because they have no skills and will only be a burden on everyone else in Europe.”

      Because they are black.

  • MBlanc46

    I was certainly a supporter of substantial European integration. But the EU has gone completely off the rails. It’s past time that other countries follow Britain’s example and give their citizens an opportunity to consider withdrawal.

  • JDInSanDiego

    Good to see Amren covering the islamic invasion of Europe. There’s a lot more on these issues at gatesofvienna (dot) net.

  • Whirlwinder

    Refugee status is just one way Islam propogates itself. After moving into other lands in this fashion, they begin creating chaos on a grand scale. Lebanon took in hundreds of thousands of Islamic refugees of the Israeli wars and look at Lebanon now. It is the first modern state to be taken over by Islam. We need to send realists to Washington to deal with Islam in America. They are not here to shore up the Constitution and make the Republic greater.

    • Sick of it

      They widely denigrate our freedoms and openly state they want Shariah Law. The media just doesn’t report on it.

  • IKantunderstand

    Race is a social construct. So, Somalians etc. should be allowed to emigrate to countries that historically have turned their backs on immigrants. Hello Japan! I hear you have a declining birth rate. Somalians are just exactly like you. Because of course, as a social construct, all you have to do is reconstruct your Japanese selves into a Somalian/Japanese social construct! SEE? Problem solved. As a matter of fact, I would expect all those robust Asian countries, to step up to the plate! South Korea! Taiwan! China! Why don’t you guys start taking in your fair share of refugees? Diversity is a strength, so we would hate to see you guys lose out on all the potential that Africans would bring to your countries! WE want to share the whole diversity is a strength meme with you Asian guys. India? How about one hundred thousand Africans? Aren’t you tired of everybody in your country being the same? Diversity will be your strength! You will be stronger if you allow in Africans! Every country on the face of the Earth will be enhanced by Africans. Seriously. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that there is not a bidding war going on to see who gets the Africans!

    • Erasmus

      Israel needs more Eritreans and Somalis. What’s sauce for the rest of the world should be sauce for Israel.

      • jeffaral

        You forget that Israelis are special: they are the salt of the earth, God’s chosen ones, the master race.

        • ms_anthro

          This must be why they have so many genetic diseases and so few achievements of their own that aren’t entirely dependent on the largesse and industriousness of Whites worldwide.

  • KenelmDigby

    What a rotten deal EUSSR membership is.
    In return for being subsumed in a failing, stagnant, declining, undemocratic dictatorship, which basically strips nation states of their national sovereignty and self-determination, you are more or less forced to become a black African Islamic state in the space of a generation.
    Why the political classes of Europe are so keen on the EUSSR, I do not know.

  • Bantu_Education

    Do the liberals and feminazi’s and human-rights types who champion these so-called refugees ever ask themselves why it is that virtually 100% of African boat people are males? Is it only men who are ‘discriminated” against or seeking a better life? Why aren’t women and children getting on those boats too? Strange that.

  • YourMOMA

    The political correctness is going to turn Europe into dumb mulattoes with no identity. These Africans will be able to roam around EU with no purpose until they destroy everything they set their feet on. How hard is it to just turn the boat back to where it came from? I would imagine a lot cheaper than giving them housing, food, and other freebies. EU needs to do what Israel has been doing for systematically send illegals back to where they came from.

  • Romulus

    Id tell them brussels tribe scum to shove it and deport every last one of them!

  • Erasmus

    What people must begin doing is firing on these people’s boats before they land. Let them drown, even.

    Is it cruel? Yes, it’s cruel. But it’s also cruel to sell out your children’s future. When you take in one Somali, in time you take in hundreds of Somalis.

    Malta doesn’t need more immigrants nor does the United States.

  • MartelC

    Muslims build a grand mosque and Poitiers , pour into Andulsia (al-andulous) and flood the island where one of the most heroic defenses against the forces of Islam took place.

    The EU CANNOT NOT know what is going on – they are not only complacent, they are aiding it. They hate the west and all it stands for, and their arrogance makes them think they can control muslims.

    • Sick of it

      The EU is a part of the New World Order plan. They have to break down traditional nation states like those in Europe to create a world government.

  • Sick of it

    Why not? It’s not like we’re stopping them. We’re inviting invaders with friendly smiles.

  • skara_brae

    Coming soon, to your street, wherever you live.

  • ms_anthro

    Even if it is dangerous, how is that Europe’s fault or responsibility? They must fend for themselves.

  • Hey Mr or Mrs moderator, this post was intended for the Mohammad Sarwar story next door, it’s either my error or Disqus’s, I might just cut n paste it over.