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MaltaToday 3 May 2020

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Malta courts Turks in bid on migrant impasse with Libya SAVIOUR BALZAN THE Captain Morgan tourist ferry Europa II yesterday heeled and rocked in Force 6 winds from the Mistral: on board are 57 migrants rescued from a dinghy inside Malta's search and rescue area by a government-chartered private vessel, the Dar El Salaam 1, and carried on the tourist ferry, which is now anchored at Hurd's Bank on the high seas. With ports shut in both Malta and Italy due to the COV- ID-19 pandemic, the Maltese government yesterday kept the migrants outside its SAR in a bid to force the EU's hand by refusing to take in the asylum seekers. But overnight, Malta's foreign strategy turned to Tur- key, where its hardline president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is actively supporting the Government of National Ac- cord in Libya. In a clear bid to end what government insiders are call- ing an "isolation from the EU on migration", Malta has crossed over the Rubicon to reach out di- rectly to Turkey, to influence the GNA to come down hard on traffickers. STAY IN, STAY SAFE, WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT/COVID19 Don't give Floriana championship says Valletta boss COVID-19'S FOOTBALL RIVALRY Malta unsettles EU in seeking Turkish hand to force Libyan government to control traffickers KURT SANSONE IF football cannot continue, Valletta FC want the Premier League to be nullified and spots for Europe- an competitions de- cided on last year's league re- sults. Valletta FC Presi- dent Vic- tor Scir- iha has told Malta- Today that if the health authorities give no direction on when football match- es can be played again, this year's com- petition should be cancelled. "If it is cancelled, it is not acceptable to award the league with six more games to play for and a poten- tial of 18 points," he insisted. Valletta's position will not go down well with eternal rivals Floriana FC, who have topped the league ta- ble since the start of the s e a - son and were on c o u r s e to clinch the cov- eted title after a 2 7 - y e a r drought. Spots in Europe can either be decid- ed through play-offs between the top six teams, Sciriha added, or if no football can be played the outcome determined on the ba- sis of last year's league results. JOMIC CALLEJA CASE SECRETS OF THE DARK WEB BRINGING IT BACK HOME PAGES 14-15 An aerial shot of the Europa II provided by a government source. The boat is holding 57 migrants aboard at Hurds Bank, chartered by the Maltese government PAGE 4 The COVID-19 home survival issue A blow-by-blow account of the bid to acquire Polonium and C4 explosive to assassi- nate an enemy SUNDAY • 3 MAY 2020 • ISSUE 1070 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday €1.95 FREE with MaltaToday

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