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National interest trumps partisan politics on migration - Delia

Opposition leader calls for honesty with trappers

The national interest trumps partisan politics when it comes to migration, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said on Sunday morning, reiterating the Prime Minister’s words that Malta will not bow to larger member states.  

Malta has to date observed international law when it comes to taking on rescued migrants, Dr Delia insisted on Radio 101.

On Saturday, Joseph Muscat defended his government's position not to take in migrants recently rescued off Libya. Malta was a sovereign country and “nobody should dictate what we can and cannot do," he said.

The latest development in the migrant tragedy comes after a group of 239 rescued migrants remain stranded outside Malta's shores amid a legal wrangle between Italy and Malta.

During his radio interview, Dr Delia said that national interest trumped partisan politics, and Malta will not be bullied around by larger countries. At the same time, Malta had to understand that irregular migration was a humanitarian crisis, and needed to be ready to help out when necessary.

Referring to people who travelled to Malta legally in search of a job, he said the government had no plan.

On the other hand, while the PN wanted the economy to continue growing, it knew that this had to be done in a constructive manner.

Foreign workers were spending some 18 months in Malta, earning money here, but sending their earnings abroad. Malta needed to ensure that the arrival of foreign workers was not detrimental to local workers, who were experiencing decreasing salaries and rising rents.

Economic growth was a good thing, however, the government needed to ensure adequate distribution of wealth. Otherwise, prices will continue to increase, he said, referring to the recent announcement that the price of bread was set to shoot up by 24c.

“There are several people who don’t afford meat, but rely on bread, so these increased prices will definitely affect them. We are not trying to point fingers, but rather find some solution. For several Maltese, bread is staple diet.”

Being honest with trappers

Referring to this week’s declaration by the European Court of Justice that finch trapping in Malta is illegal, Dr Delia said politicians needed to sit down with trappers and be honest.

“We need to be truthful, and not tell trappers what they want to hear in order to gain votes,” he said, adding that his message to those trappers who abandoned the party was that PN’s doors were still open to them.

“We need to sit down and see whether there are any solutions. If there are we need to fight for them, if not, we need to be honest.”

A law that does not protect life

The IVF law that was this week approved by Parliament will neither protect life, nor society, Dr Delia noted.

On Thursday, the President said she had signed the Embryo Act “solely out of loyalty” to the Constitution, while she holds strong to her belief that human beings should be respected from the moment of conception.

For Dr Delia, the law was one of death, injustice and inequality, which had started the end of society as we know it.

Don’t be partisan and stubborn about Air Malta

Dr Delia warned that harming Air Malta resulted in harming the tourism industry, which several people depend on.

In its latest series of flight cancellations, Air Malta has cancelled its Friday evening flight from Frankfurt.

“Malta is small, and there are countries waiting to pounce when Malta makes a mistake. Let’s not be partisan and stubborn. Let’s speak to stakeholders and strengthen our national airline, building a strong pediment for the next 30 years,” dr Delia said.

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