Malta asks other European countries for support as it tries to manage the increase of irregular immigrants reaching the shores of Italy and the country. According to the Malta independent, data included in the European Refugee Fund Annual Programme approved by the European Commission, the country received 1294 total irregular immigrants in July 2013.
Malta’s first issue had been burden sharing. Malta had taken care of the pressure of migration on its own. Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had also noted in his statement to the EU that Greece and Italy are facing similar problems regarding migration.
In the previous week, Maltese and Italian coastal authorities had rescued 233 migrants with some originating from Pakistan and Africa from an overcrowded and unseaworthy boat.
Malta’s government is asking for the setup of a Mediterranean Task Force to approach the problem in a unified and integral manner. The task force was set up in October in the aftermath of the 300-passenger smuggling boat that sunk near the coast of Italy.
Illegal immigrants and human smugglers see Malta as an easy access point for unauthorized entry into Europe. However, these migrants risk expulsion by both Malta and Italy. Both countries, including Greece, are providing for the needs and welfare of the migrants arriving into the country as they wait for the decision to their expulsion or retainment.