During a seminar on Populism and the Far Right, organised by Green European Foundation with the collaboration of AD partner foundation ‘Fondazzjoni Ceratonia’, AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio gave his views on populist tendencies in Malta.
Michael Briguglio said: “Even though the Far Right in Malta does not have significant electoral strength, far right ideology haunts the political system and at time is embraced by elements within the main political parties. Examples of this include the Nationalist Party’s cultural populism, where it aims to give the impression that Maltese society is homogeneous and characterised by one-size-fits-all lifestyles, at the exclusion of minorities such as LGBT persons, Labour’s energy populism, where it aims to give the impression that it can maintain wasteful practices and lower utility bills; Labour’s immigration populism, where it attempts to sell the idea that Malta can do it alone and solve the ‘problem’ once and for all; and the fiscal populism of both the Nationalist and Labour Parties, who promise expenditure increases in areas such as social policy without committing themselves for progressive generation of revenue. Their staunch opposition to the financial transaction tax is a case in point. When elections approach, both PNPL increase populist propanda, as was the case in the 2009 European elections when both parties gave a false impression on the immigration issue through cheap propaganda”.
The main speakers of the seminar, which was chaired by journalist James Debono, were Dutch sociologist and director of Bureau de Helling, the research foundation of the Dutch Green Party Dick Pels, Anthropologist and head of Sociology Department Professor Mark Anthony Falzon, historian and It-Torċa editor Aleks Farrugia, and Maria Pisani from Integra Foundation.