Malta fears new rights for migrants

Published on 13 April 2011 at 10:13

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“Refugees and immigrants granted humanitarian status will acquire new residence rights after living in an EU country for five years,” courtesy of an amendment to a 2003 EU directive adopted by the EU Justice and Internal affairs Council on April 11, but at least one country in migration front line is opposed to the move: Malta.

The European Council directive comes into force in 2013 and “will give hundreds of refugees and other sub-Saharan Africans in Malta a raft of new rights equal to those granted to non-EU citizens who come to live here legally,” reports the Times of Malta.

The move will also see such migrants afforded the right to reside in other EU states.

The country has been “stridently opposed” says the Maltese daily. “In 2008, when the proposal first came before Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, Malta had managed to block it single-handedly as the legislation needed unanimity to be approved,” and has failed to push its implementation back to 2018.

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