Malta rejects ‘racist’ boat
The far-right boatload of “identitarians” in their 20s and 30s, who claim to preserve Europe’s identity and oppose the “Islamification” of the EU, has been denied access to supplies in Malta.
The boat chartered by Defend Europe, who sought to disrupt the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean, has called off its crisis-strewn mission.
Malta has said the ship was “not welcome”, allegedly denying the boat from docking. Defend Europe said on Facebook it was denied port access and a request for water to be sent out to the vessel.
A Maltese spokesman said the vessel had not asked to dock in Malta, but added that such a request would have been rejected.
“They wanted to purchase services from here. There was never any kind of emergency,” he told AFP, adding that the boat “was not welcome in Malta” and that the government disagreed “with all that [the group] stands for”.
“Europe and Malta stand for solidarity and respect for human dignity,” he told DPA.
The ship spent less than a week monitoring the sea by Libya where thousands of migrants have been rescued in recent years.
The Maltese Nationalist Party said it agreed with the stand taken by the government not to allow the C-Star to enter Malta’s waters.
The scope of the vessel was to send messages of extremism which the party did not agree with, the Nationalists said in a statement.
“Our values are of solidarity and tolerance which should always win against extremism and racism,” it added.
The crew chartered a 422-tonne C-Star to send asylum seekers “back to Africa” by interrupting and blocking search and rescue vessels run by aid groups.
The C-Star received similar cold-shoulders from ports in Greece, Italy and Tunisia during its brief mission, which ended on Thursday.
A group statement accused Malta of “supporting human trafficking and obeying international migration supporters”, adding that this was a “historic disgrace”.
“Yes, Defend Europe has been a political success. Only two months ago, many NGOs sailed in front of the Libyan coasts, like cabs waiting for customers,” a statement from Defend Europe said. “Today, there is only one.”
NGO vessels working off the Libyan coast have cut back on operations after the Libyan and Italian authorities decided to curb their activities and because the number of migrant boats departing Libya has fallen. The C-Star’s launch was switched to Cyprus from Sicily where anti-racist campaigners and journalists gathered last month.
The C-Star. Picture credit: YouTube