Photo left: Cranes of Malta (Instagram)
Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi warned that corruption and the sale-of-citizenship scheme are to blame for Malta’s inflated property market, which has become too expensive for several youths on average wages to buy their first apartment.
Azzopardi delivered an impassioned speech in Parliament yesterday in light of a Facebook post by a Maltese youth, which went viral and was shared over 700 times.
“I am sick and tired of entering people’s homes and crying alongside them as they recount the pain they are going through because they cannot keep up with the cost of living,” he said. “I recently spent four hours visiting households in Tarxien and more than 60% of them complained of the plague of the cost of living, with corruption as their second most common concern.”
The PN MP criticised the IIP sale-of-citizenship on the grounds that it requires new citizens to enter the property market.
“Back when we started discussing this immoral scheme in 2014, I had warned again and again that it will result in property prices rising to an extent that Maltese people will be unable to afford them,” he said. “I was mocked, criticised and called negative, but unfortunately time has proven me right. Employed people are living in garages even though they have jobs and the YMCA cannot keep up with the growing number of homeless people.”
“Is this a liveable country? What does economic growth mean when our quality of life is sliding downwards?”
He linked the housing issue to leaked emails which showed that Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri had planned to receive millions of euro via their infamous Panama companies.
“These people have not only corrupted themselves but they have corrupted our very sense of society,” Azzopardi said. “Corruption isn’t only illegal but it has a social price, because money is filtering into certain people’s pockets instead of where it is needed.”