How ironic – it was Alfred Sant and Joseph Muscat, leaders of the anti-EU-membership campaign, who targetted the votes of non-Maltese EU citizens

Published: May 28, 2014 at 12:44pm

Whereas the presence on the electoral roll of non-Maltese EU citizens (they are eligible to vote in local council and EP elections) has been completely ignored by the press, the public and the political parties with their public discourse, Alfred Sant and Joseph Muscat targetted them individually with personally addressed letters using their individual names and addresses.

The letters were in English and delineated what the Labour Party in government ‘did’ for non-Maltese EU citizens – including cheaper bus fares and lower utility tariffs.

Few of those non-Maltese EU citizens will have been in Malta long enough to remember Alfred Sant and his sidekick Joseph Muscat leading the angry campaign against EU membership.

Yes, cheaper bus fares – but had those two got their way, those non-Maltese EU citizens wouldn’t have been able to come and live and work here in Malta in the first place.

13 Comments Comment

  1. Rumplestiltskin says:

    This is as if Norman Lowell told the irregular immigrants to vote for him. Shameless.

  2. albona says:

    It is worth also pointing out that they are the targets of PL-generated xenophobia and claims that foreigners are stealing Maltese jobs which therefore accounts for the increase in unemployment.

  3. Calculator says:

    Besides, the cheaper bus fares would have come about either way, as EU regulations wouldn’t allow discrimination between EU citizens, whether Maltese nationals or otherwise.

  4. Michelle Pirotta says:

    Daphne, I would not call it ironic, even though it is.

    It is simply “what they had to do”.

    Rather, the pertinent question is, why didn’t the PN do that job?

    I understand that Helga Ellul did actually try to do that – but still, she is not the PN.

  5. verita says:

    Are settlers impressed by cheaper bus fares?

  6. observer says:

    Obviously the individual names and addresses were obtained from the electoral register and not underhandedly.

    The persons concerned, one should think, had Maltese ID cards – entitling them, among other things, to reduced bus-fares on Arriva. If that is so, Sant’s boasting about cheaper fares were obviously inane.

    As regards utility tariffs, one has still to come to terms with the adjective ‘lower’ – even for local consumers.

    What I am sure of, however, is that very few indeed of the non-Maltese voters can recollect Sant’s shenanigans of March 2003. Hence, his fooling them about Labour’s benefits and handouts could have been very easy going.

    And, no wonder, given that tens of thousands of locals have so readily forgotten what happened eleven years ago – if, that is, they then had enough brain material to know Sant’s strategy from the real thing.

  7. orapronobis says:

    It gives me the impression that the non-Maltese EU citizen is no better quality than the Maltese version. Cheaper bus fares and cheaper utility bills?

    Is that all it takes to get their votes, rather than policy and ideology?

  8. I agree fully with your comments, especially the last sentence, but I cannot but ask why was the previous government so hard-headed to insist on a measure that was clearly discriminatory, and a free propaganda present to its successor?

  9. Mark Thorogood says:

    As one of the non-Maltese EU citizens entitled to vote, I was disappointed that only 5 or 6 of the candidates (out of 30?) sent me a leaflet in English. It was only those I voted for, as I didn’t know what the others stood for.

  10. Challie says:

    You fail (purposely or not) to see the general European trend. People don’t want to elect MEPs who are happy to keep things as they are. That’s the reason why the far right and other independence parties are rising.

  11. El Cardinero says:

    The irony in all this, is that people like these two are now benefitting from what sane citizens chose ten years ago.

  12. J. Borg says:

    You have to hand it to the current Labour party — they leave no stone unturned. The PN, on the other hand, are streets behind on the PR front.

    Unfortunately there is very little substance when you squeeze Labour, but most people don’t have the wherewithal to see that. Hence this hugely discouraging result.

    The is a saying in Chinese: “To beat the dragon, you have to become the dragon”. Until the PN adopts the same weapons, I’m afraid the results will be very slow to change…

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