Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday apologised for controversial remarks on foreign workers, saying that his comment was “insensitive”.

During a face-to-face debate with Opposition leader Adrian Delia in the run-up to the May 25 elections, Dr Muscat had stated that his vision was for foreign workers to toil in the sun instead of the Maltese.

“I want the Maltese youths to get the skilled jobs. If I had to be given a choice, I would want Maltese workers to be managers or doctors. I would want them to move ahead as teachers and then I would get those helping workers in the sun to be foreigners.

“If possible, I do not want the Maltese to be picking up rubbish from the streets. Every job should be dignified but I do not want a situation where the foreigner is comfortable and the Maltese breaking their backs,” Dr Muscat had said during the debate on TVM weekly show Extra.

Quick to react to Dr Muscat’s claim, Dr Delia had said that this was a “fundamental statement” which translated to “a classist system”.

Dr Muscat on Monday admitted that his remarks were meant to flag Dr Delia’s increasing hard line stance against foreigners while making the point that his vision was for the Maltese to do the skilled jobs.

“After seeing the footage, I think I came through as insensitive and I wanted to apologize for hurt in people’s feelings," he said.

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