At least 500 workers are set to be sent to their home countries after becoming unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They come from Poland, Spain, Albania and Colombia.
These 500 follow around 1,500 more people were already sent back to countries like Greece, Turkey, France, the UK, Serbia and Italy, among others.
Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo made the announcement today, asking what Malta’s future economy is going to look like after years of rapid growth.
“We’ve already helped 4,200 other workers go back to their country. And now the question is being raised: what kind of economy will we have after COVID-19?” Bartolo asked.
Though Malta’s been creating around 11,000 new jobs a year, only 4,000 of them were being fulfilled by Maltese citizens due to a low birth rate. Bartolo noted that over the last few years, around 25% of all people in Malta were foreigners.
However, there are currently around 2,600 EU nationals applying to Malta’s government to be repatriated, alongside around 3,5000 non-EU nationals, giving food for thought to those wondering how Malta’s economy might be affected.
Bartolo called for a balance between the economy’s growth as well as social tensions between people.
“In different parts of the world, there are tensions between citizens and tourists, citizens and foreign workers, and citizens and immigrants. We find all three in our country, and a balance needs to be found,” Bartolo said.