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'We want to have nothing to do with racist organisations,' Muscat says

PM stands by decision to ban 'ship of hate'

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted this morning that Malta does not want to be associated in any way with organisations that are using immigration to further their racist agenda.

Dr Muscat was referring to the government’s decision to ban entry into Maltese waters of the C-Star, a ship operated by the Defend Europe group described at the European Parliament as the 'ship of hate'.

The group yesterday dubbed Malta’s decision to deny the ship cooperation or supplies as "a historic disgrace". The Patrijotti Maltin group also criticised the government’s decision saying those on board were EU citizens who had a right to come here.

READ: Denied cooperation, anti-migrant ship lashes out at Malta

But Dr Muscat, speaking on One Radio this morning, said Malta will not be used by right-wing racist, not to say Nazi, organisations.

"My position on migration is known and I have been strong in Europe on the issue but we do not want to have anything to do with people like these, who fail to distinguish between humanitarian matters and the need to have secure borders.

"We therefore responsibly decided not to let the country be used by those who are extremist and with whom we do not wish to be associated.”

This, he said, was a sensible decision shared by most Maltese who understood the plight of migrants, wanted to help in a humanitarian way while being mindful that borders had to be safeguarded.

Turing to the political scene, Dr Muscat said the government’s momentum had been maintained and raised since the election, as economic results showed.

The government was taking the decisions the country needed and more investment results would come up soon.

The government was also working in social housing, pensions and other sectors where people had not benefited enough from the country’s economic growth

Questioned on the PN leadership race, Dr Muscat criticised Simon Busuttil for having stayed on instead of resigning immediately and said he was trying to impose his will on his successor, despite the unmitigated harm he had caused to the Nationalist Party.

It was worrying that the same people who caused the sinking of the PN were continuing to try to divide and rule, thus denying the country an effective and positive opposition, which every democracy needed.

One could see, Dr Muscat said, that the same tactics used against him and his family were also being used against some Nationalists.

"Such people know no limits,” he said.

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