Archbishop Charles Scicluna and tenor Joseph Calleja have issued separate appeals for action to stop the eviction of 22 children of expatriate workers from Malta.

The appeals came after the Sunday Times of Malta revealed that a group of non-EU families residing in Malta have been told by Identity Malta they can no longer keep their children here, since they do not have enough money to sustain them.

According to the agency, the parents do not satisfy the financial requirements of a policy, which requires third country nationals to earn €19,000 a year, as well as €3,800 extra for each child. The figures do not include bonuses or overtime.

Some of the children are just two years old.

Archbishop Scicluna in a tweet appealed to all parishes, religious congregations and  Catholic groups and societies to consider “adopting” one or more of these children by guaranteeing their funding, if need be.

Mgr Scicluna said anybody wanting to donate to help with the situation may direct donations to Caritas Malta specifying “The 22 Migrant Kids.”

A Curia spokesman said Archbishop Scicluna had been in contact with the authorities about the case and had offered the Church's help.

Earlier, tenor Joseph Calleja tweeted that at face value, this case was 'utterly ridiculous'.

I am ready to contribute to make solve this (seemingly) bureaucratic issue - who is joining me? he asked.

Mr Calleja told Times of Malta he had raised some funds and would also be making a personal contribution.  

The Maltese Serbian Community said it supporting the mostly Serbian parents involved in this issue.

"We are in daily contacts and hope to solve this issue not only for the Serbs but also for all other communities who face the same problem but are afraid to talk" the community said.

The Director of Caritas, Anthony Gatt described the episode as shameful.

"First parents with these kids are allowed to settle to contribute to our economy and then (they are) asked to leave or to separate themselves from their children because we only want what they can give us," he said in a Facebook post.

"It is true that Malta is overpopulated and this is putting pressure on our infrastructure but it is inhumane to allow a family to settle only to reject a few years down the line. If the policy must be adhered to, it needs to be asserted with new foreign workers/entrants We used to be known for being a hospitable nation with a soul," he wrote on Facebook. 

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola hit out at the government for being shameless.

"In one of his last acts in politics, disgraced Joseph Muscat, gives up on his ridiculous charade of pretending to be "progessive" and tries to throw 22 children out of Malta, days before Christmas, because they can't yet afford the price he sets for one of our passports," she observed.

Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said this was an example of how the prime minister was strong with the weak, and weak with the strong.

Several other people also commented on social media, making comparisons with Christmas,


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