Prime Minister Robert Abela stated that the Government does not and will not back businesses whose sole model depends on continuously importing foreigner workers, and that “do not contribute sustainably towards the economy of our country”.

Dr Abela, during an interview on Labour Party’s radio channel on Wednesday, addressed earlier news stating that the Government is working on limiting the number of non-EU nationals living in Malta.

Earlier this week, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri remarked with The Times of Malta, that the Government acknowledges that many non-EU workers are contributing productively to the economy, but “there is a concentrated effort to limit the population growth”.

Dr Abela insisted that the Government will not be accepting businesses whose model is based on importing foreign workers, that are not investing in technology, the environment and education or offering proper working conditions. “This model is not in the interest of the common good and it is affecting the infrastructure of our islands.” In addition, he noted that every worker has their dignity, and it is not acceptable for many foreign employees to work under conditions that resemble slavery.

During the interview, he remarked that Malta’s modern economy has had many stages, categorising them in three: After the Labour party was elected to Government, managing the economy during the pandemic and the economic recovery period post-COVID-19. Dr Abela explained that priorities shift by time and that Malta’s economy is going through another transition, focusing on the digital and environmental.  

He also explained that the Malta will still focus on economic growth and in doing so, it needs quality workers in sectors that have expanded over the years. “I want to make it clear that there are certain sectors where foreign workers are needed such as sectors that involve the care of the elderly. The ageing population of the country has grown, and we must cater to that by employing skilled and qualified workers,” Dr Abela remarked.

“We cannot afford to stop or limit our economic growth. When we do that, we would end the dreams and aspirations of many people,” Dr Abela added. On the other hand, he says that there are certain industries on the islands whose starting wages begin at €40,000. “Whenever I visit some of these businesses, I’m disappointed that Maltese and Gozitan workers don’t take these opportunities.”

He also insisted that the authorities will be stricter with landlords who rent their small property to a large group of individuals. “If need be, the government will increase sanctions,” he said.

Dr Abela also stated that “it is clear that the laws are there for everyone to follow and whoever is a guest in our country is expected to follow the rules.”

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