In the national and humanitarian interest

When noticing what has been going on for the past weeks, Malta seems to be a schizophrenic country to on lookers. While on the one hand applauding “ground breaking” decisions on civil liberties, at the same time we are facing a grave breach of the most basic of fundamental human rights – the right to life and dignity. This seems to have irked even Aditus, which resigned from the LGBT consultation board set up by the Government.

In our glorious liberal nation we are considering to implement a push back policy for national interest. Various are the reasons why I disagree with this claim. One cannot simply reason that since the EU is not helping us as much as we wish we can freely bully those needing our help. It is true that being a union founded on solidarity between member states, such should be practised even with regards to issues as illegal immigration, ultimately is the life and dignity of human beings which are at stake. Moreover the life of others cannot be used as a ransom.

Malta should put more emphasis on solidarity not just within the EU but towards the whole Mediterranean and Sub-sahara regions. By solidarity I don’t understand that one simply helps financially. Two of the biggest problems in these regions are exploitation by European and Western countries / industries and despotic leadership. Unless we do our best, together with those directly involved, to solve these issues at their root, we cannot in any way expect to solve the immigration problem. The latter is only the result of these and other problems. Only that would truly be in the national and humanitarian interest.

What has happened in the recent days and hours is simply unbelievable. It is sheer irresponsibility to play the bully and stamp one’s feet when human beings are put at risk. Apart from being immoral and unethical, push backs are also illegal. This might in some way move things around, but the consequences can and will be tragic: first it goes against the life and dignity of these immigrants and secondly against the interest of our country. We cannot risk loosing our face with other countries, especially when we are asking their help. This is surely not in the national and humanitarian interest. Because how can we ask respect from others when we behave in such a disrespectful manner by institutionally breaching the right and freedoms of other persons? At most this can be a very short sighted interest which is being sought.

Threatening the EU with the Veto and with the life of others is simply unacceptable. Sorry but this is utter selfishness and if I may add, childish. Politics, should be considered as the art of persuasion. That is what the government should try to do: persuade the EU and its individual member states to help Malta and other regions and not threaten with the lives of human beings. If it doesn’t manage, breaching the dignity of others is surely not an option.

What Pope Francis said last Monday in Lampedusa, seems to capture all this and much more: “The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people, makes us live in soap bubbles which, however lovely, are insubstantial; they offer a fleeting and empty illusion which results in indifference to others; indeed, it even leads to the globalization of indifference.” – Pope Francis.

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