Around 500 more people will be repatriated in the coming days after losing their jobs in Malta as a result of COVID-19. 

In a Facebook post early on Sunday, Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo said the people hail from Colombia, Spain, Albania and Poland. So far, an estimated 1,500 people form Greece, France, Turkey, Spain, the UK, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, North Macedonia and Italy have already been returned back home. 

There are also 2,269 EU nationals who have applied to return home together with 350 children. A further 3,131 non-EU nationals together with their 306 children have also sought help to return home. 

In March alone, a total of 4,200 EU nationals had been provided assistance to return home, Bartolo said.

"Diversity makes our lives more interesting but at the same time they also make it harder and more complicated. 

"One of the the biggest challenges we have in Malta and abroad is how to live together with those who are different while respecting the Constitution and our law," Bartolo said, reflecting on the history of foreigners in Malta. 

It is not easy, he said, noting that it is easier to live with people who are "like you". 

"But it is also not impossible to learn to live with those who are different. But we need to strike a balance because to end up in a situation where we are more crowded than we can handle is not wise," the minister.

 

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