Nationalist MEP candidate Michael Briguglio has accused Joseph Muscat of advocating for a classist system after the Prime Minister said last night that he doesn’t want Maltese people to work as garbage collectors or labourers.
“Dear expat voters, Muscat said yesterday that he wants foreigners to do the dirty jobs, which means he is in favour of a classist two-tier system where foreigners are treated less equally to Maltese people,” he said. “Dear expat voters, please reflect on this before casting your votes. Joseph Muscat is very good at using people as souvenirs but yesterday he certified himself as being in favour of a classist system which treats foreigners as second-class citizens.”
Muscat passed his comment yesterday during a debate on Xtra with Opposition leader Adrian Delia. The Prime Minister was responding to Delia’s calls for immigration to Malta to be restricted to ‘high-end jobs’ as a means of clamping down on population growth.
“The Prime Minister wants the economy to grow through population growth, even though Malta is the smallest and most densely populated country in Europe,” Delia said. “The government has already said that it wants to bring in 12,000 more people every year but this is simply unsustainable.”
When Muscat noted that the vast majority of foreigners working in Malta hail from other EU countries, Delia claimed that foreigners have come from non-EU counties over the past six years.
“Ah, then you have a problem with people who don’t come from Europe,” Muscat said.
“I don’t have a problem with anyone, just so long as we have a long-term plan for the country,” Delia countered. “The problem is that the people you had once wanted to push back to Libya are now coming to Malta by plane.”
Muscat said he wants foreigners to fill up any gaps required by the economy, regardless of their skill level.
“If we need carers to take care of our elderly or teachers, then let’s bring them over,” he said. “However, if I had a choice, I would want the Maltese to be working in skilled jobs as managers, doctors and teachers and foreigners to work in the jobs that require long days in the sun and pick up rubbish from the streets.”
“There’s dignity in every job but I don’t want a situation whereby foreigners are comfortable and the Maltese are breaking their backs.”
Delia immediately accused Muscat of wanting to create a “classist” society.
“We need foreigners to help us learn and grow but Malta has a limited capacity,” he said. “This is a purely economic argument.”