Labour’s European election slogan not a call to nationalism, Joseph Muscat says

Prime Minister says that he expects Labour Party MEPs to be critical of the government but they 'will not be doing so out of spite’

Joseph Muscat with the Labour Party's 14 candidates for the European election (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Joseph Muscat with the Labour Party's 14 candidates for the European election (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Joseph Muscat has refuted suggestions that the party’s slogan for the European Parliament election is a call to nationalism as he presented Labour’s 14 candidates.

The PL will be campaigning under the slogan ‘Malta in Our Heart’ for the election.

Speaking on Monday, the Prime Minister said the PL was not pitting Malta against the EU.

“On the contrary, our MEPs will be there to create EU policy for the benefit of Europe and Malta... Malta in Our Heart does not mean that our MEPs are expected to remain silent if the Maltese government warrants criticism but they will not be doing this out of spite,” Muscat said.

READ ALSO: Labour’s election campaign plays to Malta’s heart

He was addressing a press conference at Villa Bighi in Kalkara alongside deputy leaders Chris Fearne and Chris Cardona and European Affairs Minister Helena Dalli.

The PL is presenting 14 candidates for the election, including incumbents Miriam Dalli and Alfred Sant.

Muscat said Labour MEPs will be forthcoming with proposals that would be in Malta’s best interest. “After 15 years of membership, this election is about how Malta can continue to function within the EU,” he said.

The Prime Minister used the occasion to downplay poll results that have been giving the PL even stronger majorities than the last general election.

“These are tight elections… every election starts 0-0 and we will go out to convince every vote,” Muscat said.

Taking questions after the press conference, Muscat said he remained confused by the Nationalist Party’s position on foreigners and migration.

“At times, they speak with fearful language reminiscent of the far-right and then they go on to propose Malta becoming a centre for migration… it is as if the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing,” he said, reacting to the PN’s manifesto for the election.

“We are not fearful of foreigners but we do not want Malta to end up a centre for migration,” he insisted.

READ ALSO: PN proposes integration of foreign workers through training programmes