Busuttil must shoulder the responsibility on hidden report on Gozo – PM
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“Simon Busuttil must shoulder the responsibility for the fact that he and his other partners in the Nationalist Party, kept hidden the report about their failure to convince the European Commission that Gozo should be considered as a region.”
Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta and Leader of the Partit Laburista (PL) stated the above during a recent interview with ONE Head of News Aleander Balzan on ONE Radio.
The Prime Minister explained that recognition of Gozo as a region would imply more funding for the island whilst criticising the fact that the Nationalist Party did not even keep its word on its declaration of granting 10% of the funding acquired as a country to Gozo.
Dr Muscat affirmed that it was the current Government that took the initiative and increased the funding for Gozo by €16 million.
Joseph Muscat also said that “this Government wants to pay the Gozitans back for the trust shown through various projects including the Cruise liner terminal and the Yacht Marina which will assist further in job creation.”
Dr Muscat affirmed that “The Spring economic forecast issued by the European Commission was not surprising; This report is confirming what we have been saying all along, that there will be a strong economic growth rate in our country.”
The Prime Minister stated that through this economic growth, Government will keep on creating more jobs and as confirmed in the Report, the Maltese people will have more money available to spend.
Dr Muscat also mentioned the fact that exportation of electronic items has decreased. Joseph Muscat also spoke about the satisfaction expressed by the European Commission about the fact that the deficit was reduced and the same Commission is predicting that it will continue to decrease to 2.5%.
The PL Leader added that the same report mentions the Citizenship by Investment programme and states that this initiative will generate more income thus further assisting the country. The Prime Minister reiterated that the Maltese economy is progressing whilst adding that the Identity Malta Agency is performing very well adding that whereas some time ago some individuals were criticising this programme, they have now applied to be able to promote this programme.
Joseph Muscat stated, “I cannot comprehend the message delivered by the Nationalist Opposition which is requesting the people to vote for it by being negative about others. As opposed to those who have no message to deliver, because the Opposition stands for nothing, the PL message throughout this campaign focuses on this Government’s track record.”
Dr Muscat said, “The Nationalist opposition is criticising the fact that we have more stability and better prices from which families and businesses will benefit. We prefer to be called the 2c Government rather than the €500 weekly increase Government.”
The Prime Minister affirmed that this Government calls press conferences on issues which are going to be implemented and not on projects which never take place citing the White Rocks case as an example.
The PL Leader remarked, “The stability in fuel prices issue confirms the fact that the Opposition is truly cut off from the people, because this stability is making a difference in people’s lives.”
The Prime Minister added, “Although we have achieved results in the employment sector, this is not enough. This Government does not rest on what was done, but on what it projected to implement; What was done during the first year is the foundation on which we’ll build.”
Dr Muscat also spoke about the employment register system and claimed that whilst he does not want a system whereby people are cut off randomly from the system, he also does not want a system in which abuses are rampant. “We will be doing our utmost to assist those who truly want to work, those who are diligent, to find jobs.”
The PL Leader stated that with respect to the Employment Policy, the Government has the full support of the MCESD and is now in the phase of starting discussions about the necessary details in order to implement this policy during this legislature. Joseph Muscat mentioned yet again the Government’s mission to combat precarious employment in order to eradicate this concept once and for all from our country whilst striving to improve the workers’ conditions of work.
Regarding the hunting issue, the Prime Minister reiterated that he is in favour of legal hunting and completely against illegal hunting whilst stating that no one should feel uncomfortable about enforcement measures if the individuals concerned are acting within the provisions of the law.
With respect to the health sector, the PL Leader maintained the importance of having a point of reference in the area behind the Kirkop tunnel since there is no Health Centre which means that in that particular area, the people are currently not being served. .
Joseph Muscat also spoke about Martin Schulz, the candidate who is running for President of the European Commission, who is not only his friend on a personal basis but also a friend to Malta. Dr Muscat also announced that next weekend Schulz will be in Malta. On concluding the interview, the Prime Minister called on the people to go out and vote on the 24th of May for all MEP candidates contesting on behalf of the Partit Laburista.
In response to the Prime Minister’s comments on Gozo the Nationalist Party said that it “notes that in his interview on Radio ONE, Prime Minister Muscat was again dishonest when stating that the Nationalist Government has somehow failed to convince the European Union that Gozo should be recognised as a region and had not acquired sufficient funds from the European Union for Gozo.”
The facts are these, the PN Party said:
Fact 1: Gozo was already recognised as a region in the treaty of accession of Malta to the European Union.
Fact 2: The Nationalist Party gained € 1,128 million in funding from the European Union, that record is a double achievement for Malta when one considers the overall budget of the European Union fell for this period and not increased.
Fact 3: The document that the Prime Minister refers to is a request that was made to cater for the possibility that Malta will not receive the package required by argument of Objective 1 status. The fact that Malta has achieved more than was projected in fact means that the document referred to by Joseph Muscat was superceded.
“The repetition of this political dishonesty by the Prime Minister is an attempt to deviate from the fact that in his first year in office, he did not create work in Gozo and he has not carried out any of the many projects that were announced before the election.”