27 June – 3 July 2001

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Decision to block EU citizens seen as unfair

By a political correspondent

The decision to grant a concession to Malta to bar EU citizens from working here is seen as a major victory for the pro-EU camp but an affront to the dignity of those EU nationals who have been waiting for the day when they can regularise their position in Malta.

Senior sources in government positions concede that the danger of being flooded with foreigners from the ‘EU 15’ was very unlikely and, even more so, was seriously exaggerated.

However, the general perception amongst voters was that foreigners would take over Maltese jobs. The concession does not stop foreign companies from setting up house in Malta, but will block EU citizens from entering Malta and seeking a job here.

The government has won a PR battle but lost out on reason, was the comment made to the Business Times by a foreigner who is Maltese and separated from her husband.

The concession allows Malta to focus on more demanding negotiating strategies namely the agriculture and environment chapters which are considered to be the toughest of all.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt