The Head of the Labour Delegation at the European Parliament said that conceptually and politically Europe is in a weak position to demand a transparent give-and-take from African countries over the mass emigration of their citizens. Dr. Sant addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the debate on the preparation of the Valletta Summit of 11 and 12 September. The summit will address the challenges and opportunities of migration and recognises that migration is a shared responsibility of countries of origin, transit and destination. Dr. Sant said he finds it difficult to be optimistic about the prospects of negotiations on Euro African cooperation regarding migrant movements and related socio-economic give-and-take.

‘Since the heyday of neo-colonialism in Africa, things have not improved much. Through the International Monetary Fund and other bodies, the West imposed its neo-liberal model of development on most African countries. Privatisation, the removal of protectionism, and tailor-made forms of project tied aid supposedly liberalised economies but failed to trigger sufficient growth. They confirmed the pattern of extractive industries and agricultural commodity production where value added was produced by, among others, European and Chinese multinationals outside Africa.’

Dr. Sant said that urbanisation accelerated, farm communities dwindled and became poorer, jobs failed to materialise in townships. ‘In this neo-liberal context, unsurprisingly corruption and public mismanagement did not abate; they flourished. Strictly speaking, in a neo-liberal, globalised context, free movement of labour cannot be excised from a doctrine which preaches the virtues of free movement of goods and services worldwide. For hundreds of thousands of Africans, immigration has become their only hope’, reiterated Dr. Sant.

Maltese Version – L-EWROPA F’POŻIZZJONI DGĦAJFA DWAR L-IMMIGRAZZJONI TAL-MASSA MILL-PAJJIŻI AFRIKANI

Il-Kap tad-delegazzjoni Maltija Laburista Dr Alfred Sant qal li l-viżjoni u l-politika Ewropea ħallew l-Ewropa f’pożizzjoni dgħajfa wisq biex titlob trasparenza u għajnuna reċiproka mill-pajjiżi Afrikani fuq il-kwistjoni tal-immigrazzjoni tal-massa mill-kontinent Afrikan. Dr Sant kien qed jitkellem fil-Parlament Ewropew fi Strasburgu waqt id-dibattitu preparatorju għall-konferenza li se ssir fil-Belt Valletta fil-11 u fit-12 ta’ Settembru. Il-konferenza se titratta d-diffikultajiet u l-opportunitajiet tal-immigrazzjoni fid-dawl li l-immigrazzjoni taqa’ taħt ir-resposabbilta` tal-pajjiżi nattivi tal-immigranti, dawk transitorji kif ukoll il-pajjiżi li fihom jixtiequ jaslu l-immigranti. L-MEP Malti qal li diffiċli jkun ottimist dwar in-negozjati għal aktar kooperazzjoni bejn l-Afrika u l-Ewropa dwar iċ-ċaqliq migratorju u kwistjonijiet soċjo-ekonomiċi relatati.

Dr Sant qal li minn żmien l-eqqel tan-neo-kolonjaliżmu fl-Afrika, il-qagħda tal-kontinent ma tjibitx wisq. Bis-saħħa tal-‘Fond Monetarju Internazzjonali’ u istituzzjonijiet oħra, il-Punent impona mudelli ta’ żvilupp neo-liberali fuq ħafna mill-pajjiżi Afrikani. Il-privatizzazzjoni, it-tneħħija tal-protezzjoniżmu, u għajnuniet f’forma ta’ proġetti mfassla apposta għall-pajjiżi, maħsuba biex jilliberalizzaw l-ekonomiji, ma rnexxilhomx jiksbu t-tkabbir meħtieġ. Dawn il-mudelli saħqu aktar fuq l-industriji li riedu l-prodotti naturali bħall-faħam u żjut u fuq il-valur tal-produzzjoni agrarja, liema valur jiġi miżjud mill-kumpaniji multinazzjonali Ewropej u Ċiniżi, ferm ’il bogħod mix-xtut Afrikani.

Dr Sant qal li fl-Afrika l-urbanizzazzjoni żdiedet, il-komunitajiet agrikoli qed jonqsu u qed jiftaqru, l-impjiegi fl-ibliet ma waslux. ‘F’dan il-kuntest neo-liberali, mhux ta’ b’xejn li l-amministrazzjoni pubblika fl-Afrika baqgħet ħażina u kibret il-korruzzjoni. F’kuntest neo-liberali globalizzat, iċ-ċaqliq ħieles tal-ħaddiema ma jistax jitrażżan minn twemmin li jisħaq fuq il-vantaġġi taċ-ċaqliq ħieles tal-oġġetti u s-servizzi mad-dinja kollha. Għal mijiet ta’ eluf ta’ Afrikani, l-immigrazzjoni hija l-uniku tama li fadlilhom.’ saħaq Dr. Sant.