Malta Urged To Take In Over 100 Migrants On Eve Of Papal Visit
The humanitarian ship ‘Sea Eye 4’ will be entering Maltese territorial waters on Friday carrying a cargo of 106 migrants aboard. The ship is scheduled to arrive hours before the scheduled Papal visit. Pope Francis has already stated that his visit to the Maltese islands will be heavily oriented around the island’s brush with the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Malta has been one of the EU’s heaviest entrenched nations in this ongoing humanitarian crisis. This year alone, its is estimated that over 300 people have been lost to the sea while trying to cross over into Europe.
This, it seems, will put the Pope’s visit against an unsavoury background should the ship be refused entry and those onboard granted asylum. Malta is already walking a tightrope in regards to its treatment of refugees in internment camps and has come under the spotlight on multiple occasions. Pope Francis has repeatedly shown his support for asylum seekers venturing into Europe from the global south, an attitude that is less commonly found on the Maltese islands it seems.