Prime Minister Joseph Muscat used a mass meeting in Paola yesterday evening to urge Maltese society to open its doors to “everyone who wants to live and work” on the island.
“We must embrace change and diversity and we must convert Malta into a cosmopolitan society that is both proud to be Maltese and proud to welcome everyone who wants to live and work here to help raise our country up,” a passionate Muscat said at the end of his speech, as thousands of supporters cheered him on.
In an attempt to convince sceptical Labour supporters, Muscat argued he is simply following in the footsteps of former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, when he opened a mosque and Muslim school in Paola back in the 1980s.
“In the 1970s, Mintoff had a vision to get our society future ready when he decided to give land for the construction of a mosque, as well as of a Muslim school run by Christians – a unique concept in the world,” he said. “Mintoff had a vision that Malta would grow and open its doors, and those who truly believe in what we used to say and do 40 years ago now have a responsibility to ensure our society keeps opening its doors and embracing change.”
The Prime Minister’s call reflects a flip side to Malta’s economic growth and a pressing problem amongst employers who are struggling to find Maltese and EU workers and who often have to go through the bureaucracy of employing third-country nationals instead.