Malta Detention regime of Irregular Migrants criticised
illegal immigrants on the Island of Malta, has become an insurmountable problem for the Maltese Government to the extent, that legislation had to be passed to muzzle in on the increasing public outcry to contain and reverse the increasing arrivals of illegal Migration. The new legislation has the aim of containing public opinion from being expressed openly, where the Authorities will be able to prosecute anyone that voices his opinion regarding the scale of illegal immigrants now roaming the tiny island, under undefined racial hatred laws.
The Islands are just an outcrop, in the middle of the Mediterranean sea , and a front line of illegal migration crossing of unfortunate people, that keep being forgotten by the International Community. They have a right to a decent living for themselves and their families as any in the Western or Asian Countries.
The problems for Malta and the Maltese, arises, due to the size of the islands. with an area of 316 sq km (121 sq miles) and a population density of 1282 per sq km (3339 per sq mile), population 2007 estimate of 418,285 and with the arrival of new illegal immigrants superseding the official National Birth rate, on a Country with no natural resources. It is becoming a real strain on the Islands.
The disappointment is further rubbed in on the Maltese population, that after doing their utmost, in getting illegal migrants to shore safely from dangerous crossings on flimsy, un-seaworthy boats. The united Nations agency UNHCR, keeps criticizing the Maltese Government for not doing enough and calls on the immediate release of undocumented, medically unscreened and unproven Country of Origin migrants.
One always thought that the United Nations is there to support the World Community, in getting Countries the Stability and improvement in conditions for their citizens. In Malta, the UN is being seen a de-stabilization medium of our once charitable Nation which is now being overburdened by the financial cost to the Maltese community, that have to outlay the cost for Medical, educating and housing these poor souls and abandon the care for the local less fortunate citizens.
The burden is further instilled by the un-willingness of the Maltese Government and other Political parties to crack down on employers , that abuse the employment system, and hire illegal immigrants, granting illegal migrants inferior work conditions and salaries, escaping Tax and Social Security payments, while these same migrants are allowed to collect Government financial aid thereby creating an unfair employment competition with the local workers.
Although , Malta is part of the EU, the smallest and most populated Country of the EU, the same EU has not been forth coming with assistance to which it is the problem creator for Malta’s migrant problems. Legislation within the EU is very soothing on paper, in that humans have rights to be respected, but then the EU condemned these people to a life without a future on a small island where they do not even want to be, as their aim was to build a future on mainland Europe. Even in the EU’s speeches, there are recommendations for European Governments to legalize these illegal immigrants due to the unsustainable future growth to the economy because decreasing workforce in Europe and the aging population then they do not want to take any of these Migrants to help in building their future ecconomy, altough the EU wants to take credit and want to be looked at as if they are chapions and saviours to refugee and illegal migrants in the World’s eye…… only on paper though. The EU’s support to border Countries has been a matter of throwing some money at the problem and a just one Country (Holland) taking a ridiculous amount of refugees to start a new life in their Country. The USA (not part of the EU), has taken in solidarity support to Malta more than the EU Countries combined, under the assistance of the American Ambassador H.E. Ms. Molly Bordanaro.
The United Nations agency, UNHCR, has been a failure, due to the fact that Countries part of the UN assembly, are not doing enough in condemning Countries not respecting Human basic laws. The Secretary General in the UN is oblivious of problems being created in other Countries overburdened with refugee and illegal migrants on their host Country. He never, ever once sited praise or visited Malta for our efforts in saving migrants from sure death in the deep Mediterranean Sea. Not once has the EU member states took seriously the plight, of their member state or the real wish of these migrants, to see the strain being created on the Islands and the migrants. Instead we are continually being criticized for our genuine efforts in easing the hardship for these unfortunate people.
In the Malta newspapers there are daily reports, especially during the April-Odomain=”tag”>
<![CDATA[It is getting rather sickening, seeing PN and PL fighting each other to death like a pair of gladiators in a Political Coliseum. I have seen the PN Political spot on TV, which practically says that the PL are working against the interest of Malta and the Maltese. I will never believe that ever, and people with some gray matter for brains can never believe that the PL and PN are actively seeking against Malta and the Maltese. I rather believe that both the PN and PL don’t like to take long term views and actions beyond their five year term in office, which means that their priorities for Malta and the Maltese is somewhere down the line in their priority list. Their first priority is getting or retaining power at all costs. Second on their list is definitely to please those that matter (EU, NGO’s, Financial Party Supporters, and The Media).Thirdly what personal financial gain they are going to get from Politics, then maybe it’s Malta and the Maltese.
What irks me most in Maltese Politics is the lack of accountability of retaining the status quo, in other words limiting our representation to PL or the PN. Let’s face it, everybody seems to know that a few months before any election (General, Local Counsel and MEP), they both start to listen to the public, not to address them, just to address their election campaign accordingly. Everybody also knows that mostly it is based on lies, deceit, or omitting anything of relevance. It is also almost predictable that if the electorate wants to arrive at some sort of true picture of PL and PN intentions, the direct opposite of what they say is almost spot on of what will actually happen.
Accountability is so frustrating, that it begs the question of how truly democratic Malta is. I had visited the website transparency.org (see report 2008) to see how Malta ranks on the corruption perception index for 2008 and was worried for the fact that we rank as number 36 with two other Countries Botswana and Puerto Rico with an index of 5.8 (10 being non corrupt and 0 being corrupt).What is even more worrying is the fact that in 2007 we ranked at number 33 albeit still 5.8 on the scale index (report 2007) . Then I started thinking and realized how rampant our Political system is in corruption. First let us take the last general election, everybody knows that Enemalta belongs to the Maltese Government, He is also the appointee of its directors, everybody also knows that the bills in that election year where delayed by months. Everybody also knows that just after the election all electric bills started coming out of enemalta like hot cakes with hefty bills. I would classify that as corruption to the tune of buying votes by not issuing the bills at their appropriate time for political gain, throwing a lot of the public under financial stress for the sake of PN’s political gain. Same when the PN says that Malta gained a lot financially from the EU in the tune of over a billion Euros. Where the hell did they spend them? Roads – definitely NO as they are in a worse state as when the British left, they might say the Airport to Ghajn Tuffieha road – er NO that was done under the Italian Protocol agreement, where the new Mater Dei Hospital – NO that was under our own budget, the Airport- NO, Power Station-NO, the half baked Cirkewwa sea terminal-NO, where the hell did they go? Can anybody please enlighten me as to the Billion+ euros whereabouts? All I know is that political party’s finances (both PL and PN) are well hidden from the public scrutiny, to such an extent that now there is the VAT department being investigated of fraud by some of its employees that made off with what is described as millions that were lost in public revenue, with businesses and businessmen helping in the police investigation. Accountability – None. Same goes for NGO and Charity groups, I could not find one that has an audited published account that I could see on their websites. One has one for 2007 but when you look into it there is hardly anything that gets it anywhere near that can be classified as a financial audited report – some of them are getting public grants and exempted from taxation- So should I as a tax payer expect at least as a minimum, an audited published account as to how these groups that benefitted from these grants, donations and tax relief initiatives have spent these benefits, a real break down on how money was spent and from were it was received- that will never happen in Malta. Corruption comes under many different shades and definitions, including not legislating in favor of a whistle blowers act that protects person/s reporting abuse, it also means taking immediate action when the ombudsman clearly stipulates an abuse has been committed, it also means that when the EU sends a reasoned opinion and threaten to take Malta to ECJ (European Court of Justice) the Government does not wait till 11th hour to take action just for the sake of financial gain like in cases of departure tax and car vat registration and others.
PL has nothing to be proud of either as people had asked for change in their leadership years ago, but the corrupt elements that held the PL hostage for personal gain is a well known fact. The cost was that there was no political alternative to PN to the detriment of Malta’s democracy. The PN’s cunningness to betray the voters at all cost at the last general election is manifested with the JPO case. They have both betrayed the public by not allowing Political competition, they manipulate the media, they both have their deceitful propaganda machine that excludes other political views from making headway, they have secret agreements between PN and PL as was the case on illegal immigration and was recently declared by the PN as gloves are off now that PL has abandoned the agreement. The ‘Independent’ Malta Broadcasting Authority is made up of PL and PN agreed officials, ex-members of parliament that where voted out by the electorate is rewarded by either high profile positions and given a golden handshake from taxpayers money (no different from rewarding failed banks CEO’s in Europe and America). Superficial restructuring like what happened in the transport system, where liberalizing for competition means hefty tariffs on those entering the market to protect the status quo. And much more, it is a political circus more than a free market economy based on democracy. One day we will learn that it is for the common good of our Country and to the Maltese benefit to ‘liberalize’ the political system as the power will only then be handed down to the people and hold those employed by the taxpayer to account.
Published Date: 19 May 2009
By Jenny Mackenzie
DIG deeper into your empty purse, the letter said. A chief of one big charity urged us, in a letter to this newspaper, to keep up all of our international aid programmes, despite the dark days.
“We must continue to help Africa”, the writer remonstrated, in case you were thinking of cutting back. But let’s just consider that for a minute. Another eloquent writer, African, internationally educated, with a CV to die for, has just shocked the World with a claim, backed up with pages of facts, that international aid isn’t working. She says that charity, and lots of it, is actually killing her country of birth, Zambia, and most of the whole continent of Africa.
Dambisa Moyo’s book, Dead Aid, is provocative, shocking, brutally honest, and brandishes some very harsh facts indeed. It’s not the first time these things have been said, but this time it’s an African who is saying it. Perhaps it’s time to sit up and listen.
“Aid has actually worsened poverty,” says Dambisa. The most aid-dependent countries, she says, have exhibited an average annual growth rate of -0.2 per cent. She notes that when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, for the last 30 years of the 20th century, the poverty rate actually rose from 11 per cent to a staggering 66 per cent.
“Transferring large amounts of money from one government to another encourages corruption, creates aid dependency, kills off exports and disenfranchises Africans,” says Dambisa. Underpinning all of this is a much more serious problem. “Many Africans,” says Dambisa “are now addicted to aid.”
Please stay calm. It’s an emotive subject for sure. We appear to live on the wealthier side of the world. It’s hard to bear that there are others starving and suffering in countries much poorer than our own. Many of us give, generously, sometimes in compassion, sometimes to address our guilt. But have we really thought this through? Just who is that helping?
Musician and trained counsellor Sylvain Ayite was born in Senegal. Now father of a son and a daughter, Sylvain lives in Edinburgh. He would like us to stop seeing the African continent and Africans as separate from ourselves, the problems as being “over there” rather than “over here”.
“We need to focus on education, not aid,” he says. That education should be as much of ourselves, as anyone outside our own borders, says Sylvain.
“We need to reflect on what we really mean by ‘helping’. Who are you helping by being the ‘helper’? What is your authority? If we are not reflective, one just becomes the person with power, a gratifying position for the giver. But there should not be two sides that remain the same, those who give and those who receive. This will never lead to change, to a transformation where there is health and empowerment on both sides.”
Celebrity giving – it’s a touchy subject too, but actually “irrelevant, adding only very negative PR” to the main debate, says Dambisa.
Bono and Sir Bob Geldof have brought a glamour to giving that rocks the emotions. When G8 came to Scotland, it was soul-searching for all of us. Waves of well-wishers poured off the trains with bicycles and backpacks. They cared, it was moving and it created a tide of euphoria that has carried us all along ever since. We can do this thing. We can slash the debt, we can even the inequalities, we can kick poverty’s ass. We can make poverty history.
But that’s not how it has happened. On the contrary, things are not getting better, but worse, and more people are questioning our rationale. Bono lectured one audience about Africa. He slow hand clapped. “Every time I clap” he said piously, “A child dies”.
“So stop clapping!” quipped one audience member. He had heard enough.
These are hard things to hear. It’s not very nice, but there can be sharp lessons to learn. “Gimme the money”. It can get that crude. “What do you mean – how do I plan to use it?” It can get that arrogant.
For every negative tale of cynicism, there could well be ten of successful empowerment and mutual respect. More important though, as Sylvain Ayite adds, we need to think again.
“There is a better way than aid,” says Dambisa. “Of course there is a moral imperative to respond to humanitarian need, but the non-aid models, the emerging market economies, like South Africa and Botswana, are working. Developing macro-finance projects, regulating free trade, actually setting a date for the day that aid to that economy – and dependency – will cease, this is the way for the future.”
Eminent economist and historian Niall Ferguson, among other things a professor at Harvard business school, prefaces Dambisa’s book, naming her “hard- headed and big-hearted”, urging us to listen and asking us to review our own behaviour.
I think I go with his last remark. “This reader was left wanting” he says “A lot more Moyo, and a lot less Bono
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