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MALTATODAY 16 October 2022

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13 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 16 OCTOBER 2022 "European countries favouring the blockading option should also consider two unquestionable ram- ifications," Cauchi Inglott said. "Firstly, migrants deserving of international protection and asy- lum in Libya are sandwiched be- tween a rock and a hard place, probably having to endure more inhumane treatment and arduous working conditions, possibly even slavery," he said. "Secondly, tensions in Libyan de- tention centres could escalate to uncontrollable levels, and this will inevitably lead to human traffick- ers organising outbound waves of migrants to Europe." Processing centres Meloni has also proposed the setting up of processing centres – what she calls 'hot spots' – outside the EU where migrants and asy- lum seekers would be processed before being allowed into the EU. Evarist Bartolo said this was not an entirely novel idea and had been proposed previously in various it- erations. "The UK and Denmark have already announced plans to set up such processing centres in Rwanda," Bartolo said. "Meloni, on the other hand, said she would propose setting up a centre in Tu- nisia, but I believe Tunisia would never accede to such a request." Cauchi Inglott agrees that mi- grants rescued at sea could have their asylum applications pro- cessed in centres in Libya or else- where, under the lead of the Eu- ropean Asylum Support Office, with the support of UNHCR, and under the country's oversight. "If land-based facilities are deemed unsafe, the EU should consider processing asylum appli- cations aboard decommissioned cruise liners in coastal waters," he said. "Migrants warranting possi- ble asylum would then be trans- ferred to Europe for further fil- tering and relocation in a fair and equitable manner." Masonic feud over Villa Blye as rivals lawyer up MATTHEW VELLA MALTA'S rival freemasons are at loggerheads over the owner- ship of one of the island's long- est-serving homes to freema- sonry – Villa Blye, in Paola. Now that conflict is seeing the 'breakaway' lodge Grand Lodge of Malta (GLOM) law- yering up to demand that the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta move out of Villa Blye. Restaurateur Ben Muscat, worshipful master of the GLOM, sought out the ser- vices of veteran lawyer Ian Refalo with a cease-and-de- sist warning to the SGLOM's Anthony Cilia Pisani. Muscat said Cilia Pisani had to return the lodge's war- rants, minutes and attend- ance books, cheques books, regalia and correspondence files to the GLOM. Villa Blye, a property worth millions and which stands adjacent to MCAST, was al- so the meeting place for the Saint Andrew Lodge, a Scot- tish Constitution masonic lodge. The English masonic groups meet at the Marsamx- etto Street freemason's lodge in Malta, where the SGLOM also meets. The SGLOM briefly met at Villa Blye until the locks on the Paola property were changed, and members from the Grand Lodge then joined the SGLOM as 'Fenici Lodge'. Sources from the Grand Lodge told MaltaToday the GLOM intends retaking pos- session of Villa Blye. "My clients have the ownership through the entities men- tioned in the original deed owning the premises in ques- tion. You are therefore being instructed to withhold form interfering with the manage- ment of said property," Refa- lo told Cilia Pisani in his let- ter. "Failure to comply with these instructions will entail further action in accordance with the law." The Lodge of St John and St Paul continues to this day as the oldest masonic lodge in Malta, where it meets at the Marsamxetto Road freema- sons' hall run by the English lodges loyal to the United Grand Lodge of England. The St John and St Paul, and the De Rohan Lodge (1998) work under the UGLE. Oth- er lodges include the Count Roger of Normandy (1988), the Fenici Lodge (1991), and the De Rohan Lodge (1998). In 2004, the 'Irish lodges' – the Leinster (1851), Abercorn (1899) and Fenici (1999) – re- solved to join into the Sover- eign Grand Lodge of Malta. Other subordinate lodges were created since then under the banner of the SGLOM. Anthony Cilia Pisani (left) and Ben Muscat (right)

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