The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Watch: ‘I only react to comments made by prime ministers’ – Muscat, dismissing MEP's tweet

Joanna Demarco Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 19:22 Last update: about 3 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he only reacts to comments made by prime ministers, dismissing a tweet by Socialist MEP Ana Gomes which was posted Tuesday, asking for other S&D members to take action against Muscat.

S&D MEP Ana Gomes was replying to a tweet by PN MP Simon Busuttil. Busuttil had said that "the only reason why the Prime Minister will not do the right thing and sack Mizzi and Schembri is that if they go, he must go too. So it's all about self-preservation. He is putting his own personal interest ahead of the national interest."

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Ana Gomes commented by saying: "That is also, unfortunately, my own conclusion. Mine/his own political Group, @TheProgressives cannot condone it: [they] cannot act as @EPPGroup has been acting regarding PM Órban, protecting him bcs (because) he is from 'the family'."

The S&D MEP's tweet was then picked up by influential European publication 'Politico'. "It's hard to know what external political force could topple the government of Malta, long dogged by claims of corruption. The move by some fellow Socialist MEPs to say it's time for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to resign won't be welcomed in Valletta," a note within Politico's Brussels Playbook reads.

Asked by The Malta Independent whether he is concerned that other Socialist MEPS share the same views as Gomes, Muscat said "I only react to comments made by prime ministers. I have good relationships with prime ministers. I am convinced of the relationship I have with the socialist party leadership and I don't need to comment on what Ana Gomes said."

The Prime Minister, addressing a press conference, also answered questions regarding the controversial American University of Malta. Muscat reiterated that he believes American University of Malta will be a "big success".

When asked by sections of the media whether he is comparing the standard of AUM to that of University of Malta, Muscat said "I am comparing the fact that there are two universities that have full accreditation."  "I am convinced that it will be a success," he added. 

Asked whether Muscat would send his daughters to American University of Malta, Muscat replied that his daughters will decide where they want to go.

"I would want them to study in the best of institutions and the University of Malta and the American University of Malta are two brilliant institutions," he said.

The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction with Air Malta reaching agreements with ALPA.

"I am satisfied with the Air Malta deal," he said. He added that "the most crucial part of yesterday is that they didn't focus on money but more on the direction we want to take." He also stated that they have treated the pilots and other workers equally.

Photo and video by James Caruana

 


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