Prime Minister’s comments on foreign workers anything but socialist - Graffitti

Graffitti says Prime Minister's comment on foreign workers during the Xtra debate was 'classist and racist'

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said yesterday that he didn't want to see a country in which well-paid jobs went to foreigners and not the Maltese
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said yesterday that he didn't want to see a country in which well-paid jobs went to foreigners and not the Maltese

Moviment Graffitti has called out Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for what it described as “classist and racist” remarks yesterday “justifying disastrous wages and working conditions in some sectors”.

While discussing foreign workers in Malta during a debate with Opposition leader Adrian Delia, Muscat said he would rather see foreigners, rather than the Maltese, working in unskilled jobs.

“I want Maltese youths to have skilled jobs. If I had to choose, I’d want the Maltese to be managers or doctors,” he said, adding that he would prefer those helping workers in the sun to be foreign.

Muscat said that while all work should be dignified, he stressed that he did not want a situation where “foreigners are comfortable while Maltese are breaking their backs”.

The Prime Minister’s comments have earned him rebuke from Graffitti which in a statement on Friday, said the comments went against fundamental socialist values.

“The fact that the Prime Minister yesterday said that the Maltese shouldn’t do certain jobs because he considers them inferior and should therefore be done by foreigners should be condemned by anyone who has an ounce of leftist and socialist principles,” Graffitti said.

It added that “such a mentality goes against that which socialism has always fought for”.

“Socialism has always struggled for every job to be dignified, for every worker to be valued, irrespective of their origin, because every job and every worker is necessary and important.”

Rather than use such rhetoric, Graffitti said government should intervene to improve the employment conditions, “by for example increasing the minimum wage”.

The Prime Minister, the NGO said, was  protecting the interests of big business “by giving the impression that foreigners can be exploited because they are less valuable than the Maltese”.

“Low wages and bad working conditions mean that all workers suffer – both Maltese and foreign. It is disgusting to try and divide workers on the basis of their nationality to protect in interests of a few rich individuals that are exploiting workers in order to fatten their pockets.”

READ MORE: Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia spar in calm debate

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