Jobsplus CEO pours cold water on claims of foreign worker-driven evictions

Rather than 60,000 additional workers coming to Malta by the end of the year, the number is more likely to be somewhere in the region of 6,000

Jobsplus CEO Clyde Caruana said that the number of foreign workers in the country would likely increase by some 6,000 by the end of the year
Jobsplus CEO Clyde Caruana said that the number of foreign workers in the country would likely increase by some 6,000 by the end of the year

Malta is not about to experience an influx of 60,00 foreign workers by the end of the year as a post doing the rounds on Facebook is claiming, according to Jobsplus CEO Clyde Caruana.

The post, published by the page ‘Federation of Estate Agents : Secretariat’ (FEA), warned of mass evictions over the next 12 months as a result of the government’s “insistence” on “allowing over 60,000 foreign workers into Malta”.

The post goes on to say that the government was moving ahead with its decision, without having adequately prepared for the influx, and that there was no vacant housing for such a large number of workers.

“Even if we had to build 10 times more than the 6,000 yearly new apartments that are currently being built, it will take 2 years to supply this new demand,” the post continued.

"We are currently at a crisis situation where there is not enough rental housing stock to house the existing foreign workers, let alone the new ones yet to come in. What is happening is that there is a bidding war going on quietly, on existing rental housing stock and the foreigners are outbidding the Maltese, every time,” read the post.

It accused the government of listening to the developers lobby, rather than “those Maltese who are in rented accommodation and will be facing eviction within the next 12 months”.

“Emergency social housing has to be built for the Maltese. The alternative is a disaster of our own making,”

The post was called out by many on social media for depicting foreigners as the cause of the problem, and seemingly being only concerned at the fact that Maltese nationals might not find accommodation, rather than all those living in Malta.

Asked whether Jobsplus had any inclination that there was to be such an influx, given that it his agency must issue work permits, Caruana said the numbers were way off the mark.

He said that when making predictions on how the number of foreign workers would increase over a period of time, it was important to consider both the inflow of workers as well as the outflow.

He said that by the end of the year, Malta would likely have some 6,000 more foreign workers than it did last year, when one takes into account those that have left.  

“In reality this will amount to less than 6,000 units needed because some people might live together,” he said.

MDA affiliated agents distances themselves from post

Meanwhile, the Estate Agent Section (EAS), which forms part of the Malta Developers Association and represents the majority of leading estate agencies in Malta disassociated itself with comments being made by FEA's spokesman Simon Debono.

"The EAS disassociates itself with any comments being made by Mr Simon Debono in regard to the property market and estate agencies in general. Mr Debono’s comments represent his own personal opinion and in no way reflect the opinion of the majority of the leading Estate Agencies in Malta," the group posted

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