EU, Parliament asks Commission for clarifications on funds for Tunisia

STRASBOURG (FRANCE) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Parliament has approved a resolution asking the European Commission to clarify the circumstances linked to the disbursement of funds to Tunisia. In the non-binding resolution approved by MEPs with 243 votes in favour, 41 abstentions and 167 against, the European Parliament invites the Commission to clarify why it chose to provide 150 million euros in aid as a special measure for Tunisia in a single tranche.

According to the MEPs, a gradual disbursement based on concrete goals or objectives achieved would have offered the possibility of suspending further disbursements in the event of a clear erosion of fundamental values.

The resolution calls on the Commission to clarify how it believes Tunisia meets the criteria on fundamental values, as stated in its action document, which refers to “satisfactory progress” justifying the provision of budget support.

MEPs highlight the deterioration of the rule of law in Tunisia since July 2021, as stated in an EP resolution of 16 March 2023, regarding recent attacks on freedom of expression, and express doubts on the respect of principles relating to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the country.

In light of the Tunisian President Kais Saied’s refusal in October 2023 to accept €60 million in budget support from the EU, the European Parliament asked the Commission to clarify why it believes the Tunisian authorities are willing to accept the support provided for by this special measure. The European Parliament also contested the Commission’s decision to use an emergency procedure for the disbursement, as decided on 21 December 2023, given that the announcement of the support of 150 million euros had already been made on 11 June 2023 , leaving sufficient time to resort to the normal procedure.

MEPs believe that this decision demonstrates a failure to respect parliamentary scrutiny, and regret that the Commission “did not proactively make this financing agreement available to Parliament”.

Finally, MEPs want guarantees that Parliament will be able to visit the sites of EU-funded projects in Tunisia to exercise its supervision and control rights.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –


Source: medNews


LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The OceanViking rescue team operated by the NGO SOS Mediterranee evacuated 25 migrants from a drifting rubber boat spotted via binoculars in the Libyan search and rescue area. A medical mass casualty plan had to be initiated, to care for the survivors found in extreme vulnerable physical and mental health.
A medical evacuation took place in cooperation with the Italian Coast Guards. Two unconscious people were flown to Sicily by helicopter.
– credit photo SOS Mediterranee –

Source: medNews

Humanitarian aid via land to Gaza, Balla appeals for ceasefire

ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – For the first time in five months, since the beginning of the war in Gaza, 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid including food, but also medical items have arrived “to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population, which is experiencing a catastrophic situation. No country had managed to get humanitarian aid directly by land! Morocco did it.”

This was said by the Moroccan ambassador to Italy, Youssef Balla, when was interviewed by Claudio Brachino for the Italpress agency.

“Morocco is known for its humanitarian and political initiatives, as an actor of peace and security in the region” and has succeeded “thanks to the leadership of His Majesty Muhammad VI, who enjoys great international prestige” and thanks to the “communication channels with the whole world. Now the international community must make an effort like that of Morocco” whose example “we hope can be followed by other countries”.

The Moroccan ambassador then renewed “an appeal for a lasting ceasefire, to allow the smooth and permanent arrival of humanitarian aid” and condemned the fact that “civilians are targets of military attacks. We need to establish a political perspective, on the basis of international legality, which provides for the principle of two states, one next to the other”, concluded Balla.

– Photo Italpress –


Source: medNews

Morocco is the first country to deliver aid to Gaza via land

RABAT (MOROCCO) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Morocco has obtained exceptional authorization from the Israeli authorities to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. It is the first country in the world to bring aid directly to the population of Gaza by land, through Israel, since the outbreak of hostilities more than five months ago. This was announced by the Moroccan government.

The objective is “to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian population with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, and in particular of the most vulnerable groups such as newborns and children”.

The humanitarian aid consists of over 40 tons of food, including basic necessities. The humanitarian operation was launched following the indications of King Mohammed VI, who also holds the role of president of the Al Quds Committee (Jerusalem), and which also provides humanitarian aid to the population of the Holy City. Here 2,000 food baskets will be distributed for 2,000 families and 1,000 meals will be served per day.

The aid also includes the setting up of an emergency coordination room at the Jerusalem hospital. According to an official statement, the humanitarian operation “is evidently attributable to the leadership of King Mohammed VI and Moroccan diplomacy which enjoys particular prestige in the Middle East,” adding “it is no coincidence that Morocco is still one of the few Arab countries that has maintained diplomatic relations with Israel despite the crisis in Gaza”.

– Photo MAP –


Source: medNews

Malta with the lowest fertility rate in Europe

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – According to Eurostat results, in 2022 Malta had the lowest fertility rate in all of Europe with 1.08 live births per woman. The data revealed that France had the highest total fertility in the EU, with 1.79 live births per woman, followed by Romania (1.71), Bulgaria (1.65), and Czech Republic (1.64). In contrast, the lowest fertility rates were seen in Malta (1.08), followed by Spain (1.16) and Italy (1.24). In Malta, 51% of the children born in the EU in 2022 were first-born. This percentage was even higher in other countries, with Luxembourg leading at 54.4%, followed by Portugal at 54%, and Romania at 51.6%. Conversely, Latvia had the lowest proportion of first-born children at 37.9%, followed by Estonia at 39.8%, and Ireland at 40.3%. Malta experienced the most significant surge in live births from foreign-born mothers, with a notable increase of 22 percentage points from 11% in 2013 to 33% in 2022. This proportion is indicative of a significant demographic trend observed across the EU. A study commissioned by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality shows that more than three out of every four Maltese women who have one child do not want any more children. The research revealed that well over half of 18 to 39-year-old men and women Malta are struggling to fulfil their family responsibilities.
– Photo credit: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews

Malta ready to strengthen the Libyan security forces

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta can continue to assist in developing the “capacities” of Libyan law enforcement, fight international crime in the Mediterranean and strengthen the human resources of the Libyan security forces. This was declared by the Maltese Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri during a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh in Tripoli. “The security situation in Libya has a direct impact on the centre of the Mediterranean and the southern part of Europe. The collaboration between Libya and neighbouring countries such as Malta translates into the protection of Maltese and Libyan citizens,” Camilleri said. During the discussions, Camilleri discussed law enforcement and security, including training exercises for Libyan law enforcement officials. At the end of the visit, Camilleri thanked the Libyan authorities for their continued cooperation, noting the progress made by the Libyan authorities as he wished that the European Union and Libya would work together more to strengthen this process. (ITALPRESS).

Foto: DOI

Source: medNews

Italy detained NGO’s rescue ship, 135 migrants lost at sea

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Following the rescue of 56 migrants from distress at sea in international waters last Wednesday, the Italian authorities have detained the Sea-Watch 5 for 20 days. This was confirmed by the German NGO Sea-Watch.
Previously, a 17-year-old boy died on board after Italy, Malta, and Tunisia refused to evacuate him. 4 other people in critical condition were only brought to the Italian mainland after 9 hours. The remaining 51 people and the body of the boy were disembarked in Pozzallo, Sicily, last Friday following political and media pressure. Sea-Watch added that the Italian authorities had previously assigned Ravenna, over 1500 kilometers away, as the port of safety. Last Wednesday, during the rescue of 56 people from an overcrowded wooden boat, crew members discovered several people below deck, four of whom were unconscious. A 17-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest on board the Sea-Watch 5 and was initially resuscitated. In the afternoon, he was confirmed dead by the doctors on board. Before, the crew of the Sea-Watch urged the relevant authorities to evacuate the patient and three more rescued people medically. All coastal states were alerted, but neither Italy, Malta, nor Tunisia initiated an evacuation or took over the coordination. Sea-Watch said: “After landing the remaining 51 survivors, Italian authorities detained the Sea-Watch 5 on the evening of March 8. The reasons given by the authorities are false: Sea-Watch did not disobey the instructions of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, but rather, the Libyan ship Fezzan repeatedly failed to respond to radio contact while bringing dozens of people from another distress case on board to tow them back to Libya forcibly. The Tunisian authorities repeatedly addressed by Sea-Watch did not speak English at first, then denied any responsibility for a medical evacuation and ordered us to contact Italy. The International Radio Medical Center, which reports to the Italian Ministry of Transport, told us to maintain our course north at full speed”. Oliver Kulikowski, Sea-Watch spokesperson said: “The detention of the Sea-Watch 5 is a purely political maneuver. Italy seems to be using any means to divert attention from its failure to provide assistance”. Meanwhile, 85 migrants are reported missing in the central Mediterranean. The NGO Alarm Phone confirmed it has lost contact with the group who escaped from Libya. The NGO added that the Libyan coastguard claimed “they could not find them.” Alarm Phone has requested an extensive search and rescue operation to a place of safety. This case follows another group of 50 migrants who were in distress in the Central Mediterranean. They had fled from Libya and said their engine had broken down amidst the bad weather. Alarm Phone confirmed that it has lost contact and the Libyan coastguards while were fast to intercept, so far have not found the migrants.


Foto: Ufficio stampa Sea Watch

Source: medNews

Maltàs cooperation and collaboration with Libya is “very strong”

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – During an official visit to Libya, Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Employment, Byron Camilleri, stressed that the cooperation and collaboration between Malta and Libya is very strong. This is built on historical relations that in recent years have continued to flourish in various areas, both those linked to the Home Affairs Ministry, as well as also in other areas, such as trade and energy. Minister Camilleri explained that this relationship is essential in order to bring stability to the Mediterranean.
During this visit, the brave work carried out last September by the Maltese Civil Protection workers was commended. In less than 24 hours, a team of 73 members of the Department of Civil Protection and the Armed Forces left for Libya on a sea voyage to help in a major search and rescue operation in Libyàs east, which had been hit hard by storm Daniel. This mission was recognized during a bilateral meeting that Minister Byron Camilleri had with the Libyan Minister of Home Affairs, Emad Al-Trabelsi, who recognized the great work carried out by Maltàs Civil Protection and Army to save lives. During the meeting with the Libyan Minister of Home Affairs in Tripoli, Minister Byron Camilleri said the commercial relationship between Malta and Libya after the Libyan revolution is flourishing once again, thanks to the fact that Malta was the first country to start its direct flights to Libya again.

foto: DOI


Source: medNews

Malta signs major treaty concerning international criminal law

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has formally signed the Ljubljana-The Hague Convention, becoming one of the first countries to sign the first major treaty concerning international criminal law since the Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court (ICC). Malta was represented by its justice minister Jonathan Attard, who welcomed the signing of the convention as an important step for the prosecution of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. “The conflicts presently taking place in various parts of the world emphasise the need to strengthen the international law framework, including through such developments that provide new tools through which justice can be delivered and ensure that human rights enjoy stronger protections,” Attard said. The minister added that Malta’s decision to sign highlighted the government’s commitment to effective justice, including on an international level. The aim of the convention is made clear in its full official name: the Ljubljana–The Hague Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and other International Crimes. The first of the two cities named in the treaty, Ljubljana, is the city in which the text of the convention was agreed upon following negotiations last May. The Hague – the Dutch city in which the ICC is based – hosted the official signing ceremony in which 34 countries, including Malta, signed the treaty. The signing ceremony took place in the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice – the UN’s principal judicial body – and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The ICC, which is distinct from the ICJ, is based in nearby headquarters within The Hague’s international zone. The convention is the culmination of an initiative jointly launched by Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Argentina, with the aim of closing a significant gap in the international legal system: the absence of a multilateral treaty that sufficiently regulates mutual legal assistance. These four countries were later joined by Senegal and Mongolia in what became the “core group” spearheading the initiative.  (ITALPRESS).

Foto: Ipa-Agency

Source: medNews

Italy assigned Ravenna for rescued migrants, one dead, four in critical condition

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Italy assigned the nearest port of Ravenna to the German NGO Sea Watch to bring survivors and the body of a 17-year-old boy safely ashore. “We were assigned Ravenna – 1,500 kilometers away, due to the weather and predicted 3.5 meter waves it would take us 7 days to get there,” said the NGO. Following the rescue of 56 migrants from distress at sea in international waters, a 17-year-old boy on board had to be resuscitated after suffering a cardiac arrest. Just over two hours later, he could no longer be helped and died on board. The crew of the Sea-Watch 5 had previously requested a medical evacuation for him and other rescued people from several state rescue centers, but this was refused. Four survivors on board are in critical medical condition and are awaiting evacuation. During the rescue of 56 people from an overcrowded wooden boat, crew members discovered several people below deck, four of whom were unconscious. According to survivors, they had been exposed to oxygen deprivation and gasoline fumes for about 10 hours. The crew of the Sea-Watch urged the relevant authorities to medically evacuate the patients. All coastal states were alerted, but neither Italy, Malta, nor Tunisia initiated an evacuation or took over the coordination. Hugo Grenier, Head of Operations on board the Sea-Watch 5: “We are sad and angry. Europe’s isolationist policy has claimed another victim on board our ship. Despite hours of pleas for a medical evacuation, no coastal state has responded to our request”. “It is intolerable how EU states are shirking their responsibility. Authorities are quick and effective when blocking civil rescue efforts but inactive when it comes to life and death in the Mediterranean,” says Giulia Messmer, spokesperson for Sea-Watch.(ITALPRESS).

Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma

Source: medNews

1 3 4 5 6 7 154