Far-right leaders make pitch for return to ‘traditional Maltese, Christian values’

Leaders of Moviment Patrijotti Maltin, Alleanza Bidla criticise Labour and PN for morphing into clones of each other and for sidelining Christian values for neoliberal ones  

Patrijotti leader Henry Battistino (left) and Alleanza Bidla leader Ivan Grech Mintoff at the debate
Patrijotti leader Henry Battistino (left) and Alleanza Bidla leader Ivan Grech Mintoff at the debate

With five days to go until the general election, the leaders of the two small far-right parties in Malta urged undecided voters to send a message against liberalism and in favour of “traditional Maltese Christian values”.

Moviment Patrijotti Maltin leader Henry Battistino and Alleanza Bidla leader Alleanza Bidla were taking part in a debate for small party leaders, that Alternattiva Demokratika had boycotted in protest.

Yet there was barely any debate, with the two leaders hardly even addressing each other as they criticised Labour and PN for morphing into clones of each other and as they laid out their similar visions for Maltese society – with Battistino focusing on clamping down on immigration and Grech Mintoff focusing on safeguarding conservative Christian values.

Battistino decried Labour and PN as “puppets of the EU” who are both promoting libertarianism and open door policies at the cost of traditional Maltese family values of hard work, loyalty and respect.

“In five weeks of campaigning, neither Labour nor PN has even referred to immigration, this although we have a major overpopulation problem with people of all cultures coming here,” he said. “We have lost our values, many Maltese people now believe in the false gods of money and power, and we have created an underclass of people who are dependent on social benefits.”

He blamed uncontrolled immigration on several of the problems faced by Maltese society – from low wages to soaring rent and property prices to traffic jams.

He argued that it is unjust that Maltese workers have to pay through their noses to purchase or rent an apartment in a market that has been inflated by an influx of wealthy foreigners, while at the same time compete with African, Asian and Eastern European immigrants for labour.

Battistino also warned that the rise of Muslim immigrants will eventually place national security at risk, citing a report that a Syrian national with a Maltese passport was recently arrested in Sicily on terrorism charges.

“Islam has raised its head in Malta, which is concerning when you consider what’s happening in Europe. Places like Msida, Hamrun and San Gwann are now unrecognizable for Maltese people who were raised there and are returning from Australia after 30 years.”

‘Christians no longer have a voice’ – Grech Mintoff

Ivan Grech Mintoff repeatedly condemned Labour and PN for abandoning traditional Christian values in favour of “neoliberal” ones.

“Our Christian beliefs are being pushed aside – divorce has been introduced, children are being indoctrinated on gender identity at schools, abortion has been introduced through the morning-after pill, religious vilification is no longer a crime, and now both Labour and PN want to introduce gay marriage and recreational marijuana,” he said. “We believe that the majority of Maltese people believe in the existence of Christ and God and that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Christianity is crucial to the Maltese identity – it is in our national anthem and our constitution – but yet the two main parties have chosen to abandon it in favour of Europe. The PN has abandoned its religio et patria slogan and Labour has abandoned its Malta l-ewwel u qabel kollox battle-cry. They have now adopted a new ideology of liberalism, where only the self matters and where money means everything.”

He reach out to Christian voters who are disillusioned by both Labour and PN, but who intend to vote for one of them anyway so as to keep the other out of power.

“Many people tell me that they agree with what I’m saying, but that they have to vote for the lesser of two evils to keep either Labour of PN our of government. Yet, if the two parties are offering the exact same thing, then how can you say that one of them is the lesser evil? We have been indoctrinated to vote for one of the two main parties, but now the time has come for people to vote according to their principles.”