Joseph Muscat’s recent outburst on his immigration push-back policy show’s what the man is really worth.
In a time of relative crises he has thrown overboard his ethical compass. He advocates a push-back policy: pushing back immigrants to their place of departure, that is Libya.
Apart from the fact that he does not have the means to carry out his threat, he has succumbed to the worst possible in politics. He has forgotten all about his principles which some time ago seemed to have been standing four square with the downtrodden. All sweet words on solidarity have now found their way down the drain.
There is an ethical compass which shows the way in politics. This points towards doing the right thing, always, even if it signifies being unpopular.
It is not just a matter of principle.
It is also a right which enjoys protection in terms of the European Convention of Human Rights.
It would be pertinent to remember the Strasbourg decision delivered in February 2012 in the case of Hirsii Jamaa and others versus Italy.
Hirsii Jamaa had contested the validity of Silvio Berlusconi’s push-back policy. The European Court of Human Rights sitting as a Grand Chamber [with Maltese judge Vincent A. De Gaetano as one of its members] held that when Italy (then led by Silvio Berlusconi) returned migrants which it intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea to Libya it violated the migrants human rights.
It is about time that Joseph Muscat comes to his senses and gets his bearings right. Before more damage is caused to Malta’s reputation.