'Do we want the Maltese to become a minority in the country?' - Grech slams current economic model

Grech quotes Clyde Caruana's warning that the population needs to reach 800,000 to sustain the current economic model, and says this means a drastic increase in foreign workers to make up for Malta's low fertility rate

Updated at 14.05

Opposition and PN Leader Bernard Grech questioned whether the Maltese wanted to become a minority in their own country, slamming the current economic model, that he said, only focused on growing the foreign population.

During an interview on NET FM on Sunday morning, Grech quoted Finance Minister Clyde Caruana's warning, that Malta’s population might need to reach 800,000 by 2040 for the economy to keep growing at the current rate.

"What was the economic model of the past 10 years? Bring over as many people as possible and increase the population," Grech said.

He said that Caruana was one of the culprits behind this economic model, along with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The PN leader said that although he has nothing against foreign workers, the current economic model was not sustainable.

"We know that Malta has the lowest fertility rate in the European Union and therefore this means that the population will only increase with foreign workers. Do we want that the Maltese to become a minority in their own country? Will we be saving the Maltese language?" Grech asked.

He added that the Nationalist Party is proposing alternative economic models that did not destroy the environment and were not overly dependent on foreign labour.

Grech emphasised the importance of safeguarding the environment, saying that this should not be just a principle in the Constitution, but a right.

‘Abela is arrogant, weak and confused

Grech said that Prime Minister Robert Abela is arrogant, weak, and confused, and facing unprecedented internal turmoil.

He said that it was no use for the PM to keep mentioning the international situation for the rise in the cost of living.

“Abela says that he can’t do anything himself and blames it all on the war. I understand that he’s weak and battling severe internal conflicts, but he can’t keep using the same excuse,” Grech said.

He said that he wasn’t interested in the trouble within the Labour Party but in how the rising cost of living could be tackled.

Grech mentioned the national fund that PN had proposed to cushion the importation and exportation costs for businesses, and subsequently maintain the prices lower for the Maltese consumer.

The PN leader said that the Labour government was taxing the COLA and not helping out businesses cushion the drastic increase in their wage expense, as a result of the €9.90 a week increase for workers.

Grech said that Robert Abela was ignoring those that could not make ends meet, quoting statistics that show that 122,000 people in Malta could not keep up with the expenses.

Small Nations Games

Grech congratulated the athletes for their success in the Games of the Small States of Europe in Malta.

He said that he was presented for various competitions and that he admired the courage and discipline shown by the Maltese contingent.

“I was happy to see various children in the stands that dream to one day achieve the same success. It is vital that investment in sports and its infrastructure is made,” Grech said.

He said that the National Sports School was a project of the PN and that it was an investment that was paying off.