Labour a worsening economic
picture set against the influx of EU workers
It is a simple clause for Labour EU citizens will
be able to come and work in Malta with the country as an EU member,
while partnership allows the island to keep its right to issue permits
for foreign workers.
Labour are also contending that 11,000 are unemployed, 50 per cent young
of people below 25 years of age, while 25 per cent have been without
work for the last year and a half. Labour have drawn the threat to jobs
against a background of a worsening economy: a 3.5 per cent drop in
tourist arrivals, Lm21 million less in travel earnings, Lm21 million
less in product exportation, 60 factories closed with 8,000 laid off.
Labour believe the unemployment figure of 14 million in the EU can only
spell disaster for a new market such as Maltas inside the bloc.
Six million of these have already been unemployed for the last year
and a half. Concurrently, 17 per cent of under-25s have been unemployed
for the last 18 months, especially within the Mediterranean European
In the last year, unemployment in the EU increased by 0.3 per cent and
by 0.4 per cent in the Eurozone countries. The highest rate was recorded
in Spain unemployment at 12 per cent, 10 per cent in Italy and Greece,
and nine per cent in France and Denmark.
Labour are therefore fearing an enormous influx of EU workers will flood
They have also contradicted the PN for negotiating a supposedly transitory
period for holding all permits of EU workers. The MLP contend self-employed
can relocate freely anywhere they like in Malta.
Labour are opposing any form of downsizing which will be mandatory in
view of the larger European market when factories and other companies
will have to bear the brunt of increased competition. This had in fact
warranted Alfred Sants call to workers, in the last two weeks,
to ask their employers what the effects of EU accession could be on
the company and how it will affect them.