Malta. In February, Malta and Italy pleaded for assistance from the rest of the EU to cope with the unusually high number of refugees who had begun to travel to both countries since the start of democracy riots in North Africa in December 2010. Both countries wanted EU summits on the refugee issue and asked for economic help to cope with the large refugee streams. Later, Spain, France, Cyprus and Greece also joined Malta and Italy.
According to Countryaah official site, the six Mediterranean countries demanded the introduction of a new common asylum system in the EU in 2012, instead of the current “first asylum” rule, which means that a refugee must seek asylum in the first EU country to which the person comes. The Mediterranean countries wished that refugees could be spread to more EU countries when there are many coming at once to a particular country. The rest of the EU rejected the proposal and thought that the Mediterranean countries were exaggerating and took the problems in advance. In April, however, the EU Council of Ministers decided that until now the problem would be resolved by some countries, including Germany, voluntarily undertaking to accept refugees from Malta.
On May 28, a majority of Maltese voted in favor of legalizing divorces. The referendum was not binding, but Parliament went along the line of voters and voted in July for the legalization of divorces by 52 votes to 11. It was a member of parliament from the ruling Nationalist Party who had tabled the legalization of divorces, but Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi opposed the proposal because he felt that it would weaken the family’s position. The Catholic Church also belonged to the neo side, while the opposition party Labor and parts of the Nationalist Party stood on the jas side.
The new law came into force in October after it was approved by the president. Catholic Malta was the last in the EU to allow divorces.