The European Council is expected to meet on December 20 and agree a 38-point plan to combat illegal immigration into the EU, writes The Malta Independent

A specially convened task force was set up following the Lampedusa tragedy in which at least 300 illegal immigrants heading for the EU died when their boat sank off the coast of the Italian island on October 3.

However, the slow moving nature of EU bureaucracy is frustrating Malta, writes the daily, as the island had demanded urgent EU help in combating the flood of illegal immigrants arriving on Maltese shores.