Updated at 1.50pm with PL reaction
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia on Sunday questioned if the government would seek teachers from Bangladesh and Pakistan to teach children in Malta.
Speaking during a political activity, Dr Delia asked whether teachers would be imported from foreign countries, just as it had sought foreigners to drive buses in Malta.
“Is this how our children will end up?”, he asked.
The Opposition leader has in the past been slammed for his anti-migrant worker rhetoric. Last month, a group of NGOs said such statements against migrant workers in Malta were intended to generate hatred, discrimination and violence.
During his speech on Sunday, Dr Delia asked why the government did not care about teachers.
He accused the government of seeking complete control over who would be allowed to retain a teacher’s warrant.
A strike this Monday was narrowly averted after the government withdrew proposed amendments to the Education Act which drew the teachers’ union’s ire.
'Everyone knows things are not right'
Turning to corruption, Dr Delia questioned why Finance Minister Edward Scicluna was so surprised about Malta’s poor reputation abroad.
The minister said this week that he could not even catch a taxi abroad without being asked about corruption and the rule of law in Malta.
“Everyone knows that things are not right in this country”, Dr Delia said.
He lambasted Prof. Scicluna for failing to take responsibility after the European Banking Authority highlighted shortcomings in Malta’s anti-money laundering supervision.
Dr Delia told his audience that the European Commission would now publish a formal opinion about Malta anti-money laundering controls.
Malta’s Finance Minister had the dubious honour of being the first minister to be subjected to such a measure, he noted.
The Opposition leader said it was not the government that was suffering from all this, but Malta as a whole and the financial services industry in particular.
A reputation took years to build and could be lost in the blink of an eye, he continued.
PA private jet scandal
On the Planning Authority’s decision to fly in a member on a private jet for a planning vote for the Db tower, Dr Delia said the cost of such a flight was not the problem.
The Prime Minister himself said this was wrong, yet no heads had rolled, he said.
Furthermore, PA chief Johann Buttigieg had defended his decision, but said he would not do it against because the Prime Minister had not approved.
“These are supposedly independent and autonomous people,” Dr Delia said.
'Racist, far-right talk' - PL
Dr Delia's inflammatory comment about teachers from Bangladesh or Pakistan was immediately seized upon by the Labour Party, which accused the PN leader of "lying desperately" and racism.
"This is the sort of language of somebody who has abandoned demo-Christian values and feels more at ease within the far right," the PL said.
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