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EU commissioner Malmström slams Malta over refugee pushbacks

Published tisdag 9 juli 2013 kl 19.56
EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström (right) has reacted against the Maltese government, which is considering sending back refugees without allowing them to apply for asylum. Montage: Swedish Radio.

Reports that Malta is considering sending back newly arrived migrants to Libya without letting apply for asylum have caused Swedish EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström to react. "According to EU and international obligations, all people arriving in the EU territory are entitled to file an asylum request and to have a proper assessment of their situation," the Home Affairs Commissioner wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

"The European Commission will use all the tools at its disposal to make sure Member States fully respect their obligations in this regard," the statement added.

Malta's prime minister, Joseph Muscat, has warned that the country is considering a range of options to deal with the influx of migrants. On Tuesday, 102 migrants arrived in Malta from Somalia, while over 300 arrived last week, news agency TT reports.

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