Tunisia, dozens arrested while trying to flee towards Italy

TUNISI (TUNISIA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Tunisian authorities had foiled 52 irregular immigration attempts to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. The Tunisian Interior Ministry said 1,004 people were arrested during a security operation on Sept. 27-29 in the southern province of Sfax. 216 Tunisians, 667 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, and 73 people from other nationalities were rounded up. Sfax is a main route for illegal migrants to cross from Tunisia into Italy. According to Tunisian authorities, over 37,000 irregular migrants had been arrested in 2022. Meanwhile, the Tunisian President Kais Saied rejected financial support announced by the European Union in September, saying the amount is small and goes against a deal signed three months ago. Saied’s move could undermine the “strategic partnership” from July that includes measures on combating human traffickers and tightening borders, and which came during a sharp increase in boats heading to Europe from the North African nation. The European Commission last month said it would disburse €127 million in aid to Tunisia as part of the deal to fight illegal immigration from Africa to Europe.
– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews

Air Malta to be replaced by KM Malta Airlines

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltàs national carrier Air Malta will be replaced by KM Malta Airlines and its first flight is scheduled on March, 31 next year. This was announced by the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela following an agreement with the European Union on the transition to the new airline.
The European Commission has refused to accept a government request for fresh state funding for the carrier amounting to almost 300 million.
The Maltese government will be investing €350 million in the new airline, of which 300m are earmarked to buy three of its aircraft, which are currently leased; for the purchase of London and Gatwick airport slots from the government, and to buy hangars and surrounding property from Air Malta. The remaining €50 million will be working capital.
The new airline would still fly under the Air Malta brand and would continue to carry the Maltese Cross. Air Maltàs current fleet of eight Airbus A 320 aircraft will be kept, even though the European Union initially wanted a reduction. It will fly to 17 destinations and discontinuing routes which were unprofitable. Air Malta operated to 37 destinations as recently as 2019.
The new airline will fly to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. Plans are in hand for a new service to Copenhagen but other services – Palermo, Naples, Nice, Geneva, Lisbon, and Tel Aviv will be discontinued.
Abela said the new airline will start making profit in about two years’ time. “We cannot be dependent on foreign airlines, we need to retain control of our national airline which can meet Maltàs needs while making financial sense,” Abela said.
Maltese Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, confirmed that the new airline will re-employ Air Maltàs workforce of around 400 employees. Caruana added, the airlinès wage bill decreased from 48m to 22m and current early retirement schemes will end after four years.
The Maltese government would continue to own the majority holding of the new airline, but intends to either issue shares in the new company or seek a strategic partner to ensure good governance.
-photo DOI-

Source: medNews

Mediterranean, attempted murder of migrants by the Libyan coastguard

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The German NGO Seawatch accused the Libyan coastguard of attempting murder in the Mediterranean despite several warnings by its crew onboard the aircraft Seabird operated by the same NGO. Seawatch reported that the Libyan coastguard rammed into a boat in distress, and due to the dangerous maneuver, the boat sank and 50 people fell into the sea. The NGO said that by the time the Seabird crew was on site searching for survivors, they could find none. “We cannot know if and how many people lost their lives. However, the survivors who made it aboard the Libyan patrol vessel are now illegally forced back to Libya”. Seawatch accused the Libyan coastguard, “funded and armed by Italy and Europe, consists of ruthless criminals.” It urged that it is the time for European states to stop supporting human rights violations”.

Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma

Source: medNews

MED9 agreed on single vision for future of Med region within the EU

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – During a high-profile meeting of the leaders of the Southern European Union, the 10th Summit of the southern countries of the EU, also known as the MED9, which took place in Valletta, the leaders of the MED9 agreed on a joint statement focusing on ten challenges facing the Euro-Med region.

The summit brought together Heads of State and Government from Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, and Malta, together with the Secretary of State for European Affairs of Spain.

In the joint declaration published at the end of the summit, the leaders of MED9 agreed on ten main points including solidarity in the face of natural disasters. The leaders expressed their deep sorrow and solidarity for the recent natural disasters in the region and pledged continued support to the affected areas.

They also agreed to address Russiàs aggression against Ukraine with MED9 leaders condemning Russiàs ongoing war and reaffirming their commitment to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine. They demanded that Russia cease military activities and withdraw from Ukraine immediately.

Regarding the issue of migration, the European leaders recognized the challenge of irregular migration and asked the European Union to address this challenge in a holistic way. They also emphasized the need for negotiations on the Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Regarding action against climate change, the summit highlighted the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean region, and emphasized the need for urgent climate action, adaptation efforts, and management of disasters.

European leaders also stressed the protection of natural resources and emphasized the importance of their protection and the promotion of sustainable practices, particularly in the maritime and energy sectors.

The summit also highlighted the importance of social policies, upskilling, and lifelong learning to empower citizens and reduce inequalities.

The leaders also called for reforms to strengthen economic growth and fiscal sustainability in the EU, while recognizing the need for a mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

On the single market, the leaders said they are committed to improving connectivity, and addressing challenges in the transport and digital sectors.

MED9 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to EU enlargement, particularly in the Western Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The summit also highlighted the value of regional coordination among the MED9 countries in various thematic areas. Meanwhile the MED9 summit addressed a wide range of urgent issues facing the southern EU countries, and highlighted their commitment to regional cooperation. In fact the joint statement reflects their vision for the future of the Mediterranean region within the EU.

– Photo Department of Information Malta –


Source: medNews

Constitutional Court accepts appeal, Regeni trial can continue

ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Constitutional Court examined the issue of the constitutional legitimacy raised by the Judge for preliminary investigations of the Court in Rome in relation to the holding of the trial for the kidnapping and murder of Giulio Regeni.
The Court declared the constitutional illegitimacy of article 420-bis, paragraph 3, of the criminal code procedure, in which it does not provide that the judge proceeds in his absence in case of crimes committed through acts of torture as defined by article 1, paragraph 1, of the New York Convention against Torture, when, due to the lack of assistance from the State to which the accused belongs, it is impossible to have proof that the latter, although aware of the proceedings, was made aware of the pending of the trial, without prejudice to the right of the accused himself to a new trial in person to re-examine the merits of the case.
The sentence will be filed in the coming weeks.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –


Source: medNews

Alarm Phone, 145 migrants at risk in the Central Med

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The international NGO Alarm Phone confirmed that 145 migrants are in serious danger and are risking to die. Alarm Phone alerted the authorities about the group of migrants in distress after they escaped from Libya on a fishing vessel. The NGO confirmed that the migrants had engine problems before it lost contact with them. Authorities in the Mediterranean are being urged to launch a rescue mission without delay as the weather is deteriorating. The international NGO Alarm Phone confirmed that 145 migrants are in serious danger and are risking to die. Alarm Phone alerted the authorities about the group of migrants in distress after they escaped from Libya on a fishing vessel. The NGO confirmed that the migrants had engine problems before it lost contact with them. Authorities in the Mediterranean are being urged to launch a rescue mission without delay as the weather is deteriorating.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews

Malta will be sending humanitarian aid to Libya

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Ministry for Home Affairs in Malta is joining forces with the Muslim community to send humanitarian aid to Libya. Crates of clothes, food items, and other humanitarian aid to the Libyan city of Derna were already collected for the suffering population by the fatal effects of Storm Daniel. During a meeting between Byron Camilleri, Maltese Home Affairs Minister and the Muslim community’s Imam Mohammed Elsadi, the Maltese government immediately took up Elsadìs plea for continued Maltese aid to Libya, along with the provision of humanitarian supplies to Derna. Malta is committed to assisting the Libyan population during this difficult time and with the immediate search and rescue aid mission the Civil Protection Department and Armed Forces of Malta personnel conducted in Derna. Meanwhile, just a few days ago, Prime Minister Robert Abela appealed to the United Nations General Assembly for more aid from bigger states to Libya. The floods led to the collapse of two dams which killed at least 5,100 people and rendered thousands of others missing. The damage in the Mediterranean city is devastating and extensive with tens of thousands left homeless.

– foto Department of Information (Doi) –


Source: medNews

Malta, protest against the killing of pigs in Lombardy

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Animal activists protested outside the Embassy of Italy in Floriana against the killing of ten pigs during a police raid in Pavia, Lombardy on an order given by the Italian authorities due to fears of an African swine fever epidemic. The African swine fever was detected in Italy in January 2022. It is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. Whilst posing no threat to humans, mass culls have been taking place in an attempt to limit the spread of the disease amongst farmed pigs to reduce losses for farmers. The Maltese activists from the group of Animal Liberation Malta said: “On September 20th, the Italian government ordered the killing of 10 pigs living in the ‘Progetto Cuori Liberi’ animal shelter, a sanctuary located in Sariana near Pavia, in the Lombardy region”. They declared full solidarity with those who tried to defend the animals to their detriment, after a dozen vans and cars full of police and carabinieri in riot gear intervened violently, attacking the pacifist vigil, and killing all the animals. The owners of the establishment and animal rights activists were dragged out of the shelter and many people were injured. The ten pigs were killed which activists say was “caused by the meat industry.” They slammed the industry for “enslaving animals and killing them for profit” with pigs and even wild boars being slaughtered due to “the greed of a few”.
The activists also accused the Italian authorities, saying, “Italy, once a pillar of innovation, is now retreating rather than making room for the science that could develop new technologies ethically, giving Italian entrepreneurs the opportunity to expand locally, across Europe and internationally”.(ITALPRESS).

Foto: xf3

Source: medNews

WHO requests financial help for Libya, no epidemic in Derna

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Regional Director of the World Health Organization, Ahmed Al-Mandhari, appealed to supporters and partners to provide the necessary financial resources to deal with the areas affected by the floods in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, especially in Derna, pointing out that they were unable to obtain sufficient support and appropriate funding to help about 250,000 people in those areas despite the urgent call for relief response. Al-Mandhari added that WHO had sent two shipments to the areas affected by the floods in the eastern region, each shipment consisting of 29 metric tons of medical supplies, including surgical materials, medicines, and some devices and light equipment, indicating that there were approximately 130 metric tons ready for transport in the coming days to ensure that health institutions in those areas would receive necessary supplies. He also pointed out that they had provided medical teams with specializations that suit the current situation, for example surgical operations, emergency medicine, accident medicine, and trauma medicine, adding that they reviewed the epidemiological investigation system to ensure that epidemics would not appear in such cases, whether transmitted through drinking water: such as cholera, or diseases transmitted by other vectors such as mosquitoes like hemorrhagic fever or malaria.
Meanwhile WHO has confirmed that no epidemic is detected in Libya after the flood disaster in the city of Derna.
“We cooperated with the health authorities to ensure the maintenance of the comprehensive vaccination system for children to ensure that diseases such as measles, polio, and others would not appear among them, and we reviewed the damage done to health institutions in those areas. We are cooperating with the health authorities to rehabilitate and build these institutions to ensure that everyone had access to health services close to their areas, and until we have finished that work, we would cooperate to provide health services through mobile clinics to the affected areas,”Al-Mandhari said.
– Photo credit World Health Organization press office –

Source: medNews

UN, Malta condemns Russia, Libya most pressing issue for the Med

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Premier Robert Abela condemned Russiàs continued violation of international law through its assault on Ukraine when addressing the UN General Assembly.
“Maltàs neutrality means we will not tolerate military aggression and unilateral actions against members of the global community and the rules-based order”, Abela emphasized.
“In the spirit of peace”, he added, “we call upon Russia to withdraw its forces from the sovereign territory of Ukraine, and we urge all nations gathered here to unite in bringing an end to the war”.
Highlighting the devastating impact of the Ukraine conflict on global food security, Abela also called upon Russia to rejoin the Black Sea grain initiative to ensure grain exports from Ukraine.
The Maltese Prime Minister reaffirmed Maltàs commitment to assisting neighbouring countries in addressing shared challenges, emphasising the importance of solidarity within the Mediterranean region. “This is why I am proud that our capital, Valletta, will host the next summit of the EU’s MED 9 members in just a few days’ time,” Abela.
Speaking about the worsening political situation in Libya, Abela emphasised that Libya represents the most pressing issue for the Mediterranean. “The peace of our entire region hinges on achieving a lasting settlement there. Malta aspires to witness a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Libya through a Libyan-led political process”, he stated.
When addressing the widespread uncertainty surrounding technological advancements, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), Abela stated that if leaders make the right decisions, the impact of AI can be a positive one. He highlighted Maltàs “proactive approach” in this regard, citing six pilot projects in areas ranging from healthcare to traffic management as examples of how AI could enhance public services and improve citizens’ lives.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Abela held a meeting with the General Secretary of the United Nations, Antònio Guterres during which common interests were discussed. Antònio Guterres congratulated Malta in its role on the UN Security Council, particularly its period of Presidency.
Libya was on the agenda and the Maltese Premier explained the need for the country to be helped after the recent Daniel Cyclone disaster, but also due to the need of stability for the Libyan population.

– Photo Department of Information Malta –


Source: medNews

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