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Italy-Malta: enhanced agreement on illegal immigration

Immigration, the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, bilateral economic relations. These are the main issues on the agenda for Minister Giulio Terzi’s visit to Malta, where today he is meeting his colleague Tonio Borg; the Premier, Lawrence Gonzi; and the President, George Abela.

Minister Terzi is accompanied by a delegation of senior officials from the Home Affairs, Defence, Environment and Economic Development Ministries, and by representatives of the Coast Guard Service. He will sign a memorandum of understanding on enhancing collaboration to combat illegal immigration.

Saving lives is the priority

“In search and rescue operations the priority is to save innocent lives”, said Terzi in his address to the Maltese Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The Minister underscored that Italy and Malta “must cooperate and share responsibility fairly, as we have done thus far. […] Cooperation at sea and policy coordination in all contexts, both within and outwith the European Union, will make it easier to ask Brussels and the main international organisations for help”, added the Minister.

“Pessimism saps vitality”

Minister Terzi also met the Italian business community in Malta. “The dynamism of Italian companies on the international markets testifies to the dynamism that is frequently sapped by the pessimism, in some cases unjustified, that all too often affects the way we look at our domestic market”. Pessimism, added the Minister, that all too often “tinges our view of demand, which is failing to grow, and the structural difficulties we still feel in spite of the enormous efforts made by the Government, by Parliament, and above all by Italian society and the business world”.

Terzi underscored that Italian companies are a rich resource for Malta, to which our country is by far the first exporter, with exports of 1.4 billion euros.

Another focus of the meeting will be Mediterranean policies, in the run up to the 5+5 meeting taking place in Malta on 5 October 2012, with Prime Minister Mario Monti attending.

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