The Malta Independent 13 July 2024, Saturday
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‘Do we want the Maltese to end up a minority in their own country?’ – Bernard Grech

Semira Abbas Shalan Sunday, 4 June 2023, 12:19 Last update: about 2 years ago

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech expressed his concerns over warnings by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana that the country's population will rise to 800,000 by 2040, saying that the Maltese population could become the minority due to the country's current economic model.

Speaking in an interview on NET TV, Grech said on Sunday that Malta's economic model entailed bringing in more people from abroad to work for economic growth, while also destroying the environment.

Grech said that Malta has the lowest birth rate in the EU, which would mean that the country's population would have to grow according to this economic model, bringing in more foreign workers.

"Do we want the Maltese people to end up becoming a minority in their own country? Will the Maltese language be saved or lost?" Grech said, adding that the PN has long observed this, and that it is time for people to open their eyes.

In 10 years, the population has increased suddenly, with over 100,000 foreigners working in the country to contribute to economic growth, Grech said.

Grech said that the country needs a new economic model which truly brings quality, new economic pillars without degrading the environment, and attracting foreign workers with high salaries, rather than the 'miserable' salaries many are now receiving.

He deemed Prime Minister Robert Abela as arrogant, confused and weak, for failing to address the higher cost of living.

Grech said that Abela must bring on board solutions, today before tomorrow, particularly on importation and exportation costs burdening the exporter.

"Abela will continue to forget you and take your money through taxes on your Cost of Living increase," Grech said.

He added that the PN has devised an alternative way of helping employers who have the burden of shouldering the increases in salaries for their employees.

He appealed for fiscal incentives for employers to help with the salaries they must pay their employees.

Grech also said that there are around 122,000 Maltese and Gozitans who are saying that they cannot make ends meet, and cannot afford basic needs, which he said is a reality worrying many people, including the PN.

He also said that there needs to be tangible measures for the environment to be a priority in the country.

Grech said that he wants the right to safeguard the environment not to just remain a principle, so that when citizens feel that the environment is being threatened, they may go to court to emphasize the right to a better environment.

He said that the PN believes that solutions for the country come through a coalition with the people, which is why environmental NGOs and entities should sit at the decision-making table.

Grech said that today, the PL has large internal conflicts, with many Labourites telling Abela that he has lost his socialist principles, and Labour councillors becoming independent.

"Robert Abela is a liability for the Maltese and Gozitan population," he said.

Grech said that Abela will not solve anyone's problems, and many Labour supporters have gone to Grech lamenting about the state of the Labour Party, and that their quality of life is being threatened.

On the State Broadcaster, Grech said that this continues to be directly controlled by Abela, who he described as being insecure, weak and who wants to hide the truth.

Grech said that each week, the PN wins cases against the reporting by the state broadcaster, which is meant to balance reporting of both government and Opposition matters.

He also spoke about the achievements last week at the Games of the Small States of Europe, which were held in Malta.

Grech expressed pride over the athletes who represented the Maltese flag, bringing honour to the country through their determination and dedication in their sport.

He said that the National School for Sport was the PN's initiative, and "now we are bearing its fruit through these athletes."

Grech appealed for donations to be given to the Nationalist Party through the PN's fundraising marathon.

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