Harsher penalties against those who incite racial hatred, AD says

MEP candidate Carmel Cacopardo says racial hatred has been allowed to fester in Maltese society, even encouraged by some in politics 

AD chairperson and candidate Carmel Cacopardo
AD chairperson and candidate Carmel Cacopardo

Alternattiva Demokratika has called for tougher steps from the authorities to be taken against the incitement to racial hatred.

AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo warned that a culture of hatred against foreigners, particularly dark-skinned foreigners, had been allowed to fester.

“The sporadic incidents of the past few years have been a warning sign that not everyone has given importance to. The cold-blooded murder of an immigrant from the Ivory Coast in April is a stain on the whole of the country because it is the direct cause of this hate which unfortunately was encouraged, sometimes even from some in the political field.”

Cacopardo highlighted episodes during the election campaign in which an increasing emphasis had been placed on the growing number of foreigners.

“The debate was warranted because of the impact they have of the quality of life of the Maltese due to demand for rental accommodation, which is causing undue hardship for those in the rental market. This not only serves to unduly raise the rent of residential property but is used continuously as a justification for increasing damage to the urban fabric of our locations.”

But he said AD would continue to urge EU member states, through the European Greens, to strengthen their commitment towards solidarity measures to assist Malta’s vulnerable asylum policy. “Malta is at the centre of the Mediterranean has always been dictated by geographical mission but supported by strong and deeply rooted sense to embrace the solidarity unconditionally.”

AD’s local council candidate for Gzira, Jamie Mercieca, said the party would work to create a better life for residents. He said that this would be achieved by continually addressing the quality of the urban environment.

“Public spaces are constantly being marketed for development... the planned development of Manoel Island will not only eliminate the last lungs at the resort but will also reduce public access to the Bank,” he said. 

Cacopardo added that footpaths have become occupied by tables and chairs creating an accessibility problem. He said it was also creating difficulties for residents to access their homes, along domestic waste collections being affected.

“There is a need for a greater commitment by the Local Council needs to be on the side of people and this contrast with the Government of the day which describes itself as business friendly. The business impacts on the quality of life of residents need to be addressed without further delay.”

More in Europe 2019