Malta. According to countryaah, around 300 North African migrants arrived in Malta on 1 February. So many had not arrived at the same time in several years. But refugee flows from North Africa to Malta have been ongoing since the country, with its 400,000 residents, joined the EU in 2004. In 2008, 2,775 refugees came to Malta. The country often refuses to receive the migrants, and those arriving ashore are kept in locked camps for up to 18 months pending their cases are processed. Malta’s migration policy has been criticized by Amnesty International, the UN refugee agency UNHCR and others for being inhuman. The Maltese authorities, for their part, have long demanded that other EU countries help to take care of migrants. The EU rules that refugees must seek asylum in the first EU country he or she arrives to allow Malta to receive a disproportionate number. Most North Africans really want to go to other EU countries but end up in Malta by mistake, sometimes after boat accidents. An unknown number also die at sea each year.
During the year, the EU discussed various proposals to achieve a so-called harmonized migration policy. The European Commission proposed in September that more EU countries receive quota refugees, ie a certain number of refugees each year from war and disaster-affected countries. Today, for example, Sweden is committed to quota refugees, while other EU countries only grant asylum on a case-by-case basis. The Commission also said that EU countries need to be helped more in accommodating migrants. In June, EU migration ministers had refused a request for assistance from Malta, Cyprus, Italy and Greece, all of which are countries where many refugees from North Africa first end up. However, the ministers made no promises and Swedish Migration Minister Tobias Billström (M) said that various measures are needed to reduce refugee flows,
George Abela of the Labor Party was elected April 1 to the ceremonial post of the country’s president after Edward. The ruling Nationalist Party and the opposition (Labor Party) agreed on the nomination, which is not part of the usual. In May, the European Commission criticized the Government of Malta for the state’s budget deficit to be greater than the 3 percent of GDP allowed by the Stability and Growth Pact.