The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Delia accuses government of rape of institutions

Noel Grima Sunday, 7 October 2018, 13:16 Last update: about 2 months ago
On the day when the latest opinion survey showed that the PN had inched back some of the huge disadvantage it had when compared to Labour, PN leader Adrian Delia spoke at Paola and accused the government of taking over of institutions, lock, stock and barrel.
The MaltaToday survey showed that the PN seems to have stopped a downward trend that had been developing since May. In this latest survey, the PN registered a 29% support, up four points on the September survey. In May, the party had registered a 32.1% support, the highest since Delia became party leader. Since then the party seems to have slipped and in September reached the lowest point of 24.8%.
The Labour Party remained broadly at the same position, with 47.3%, so any ground gained by the PN did not come about at PL's expense.
Speaking at Paola, Dr Delia of course did not mention the opinion survey but instead concentrated on mainly court-related issues, leaving the teachers' strike to be discussed at length by the party secretary general Clyde Puli.
Delia began by speaking on the decision by the Constitutional Appeals Court composed of three judges including the Chief Justice which last week confirmed a preceding decision by the Constitutional Court that found that Assistant Commissioner of Police, Silvio Valletta, who is married to Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana should have no role in the investigations regarding the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The Attorney General had appealed from this judgement. Since the decision by the Constitutional Appeals Court, there has been no reaction by the Attorney General, the Justice Minister or the government as a whole.
Next, Dr Delia blasted Finance Minister Edward Scicluna who expressed surprise at the perception of Malta by people he met on his travels around the world (including a taxi driver in Latin America). There is no need to be surprised when the European Banking Authority has now condemned the MFSA and the FIAU and steps are being taken to ensure that the Maltese institutions act according to law. Minister Scicluna is the first minister to be so targeted by a European institution.
He then blasted the Planning Authority for bringing back to Malta on a private jet a PA board member so that she would not miss a crucial PA sitting (on the db controversial tower in Paceville), costing the taxpayers no less than €8750 when she could cross over from Sicily for €200. The PA CEO had defended his decision but after this was criticised by the prime minister, the PA CEO said that in future he will consult the PM. Everything in Malta is run by one or two persons, Dr Delia commented.
He then reminded his Paola audience of the promised Health Centre hub that has been held back because of a tender issue. A recent court decision had heavily criticised the government for appointing incompetent persons to adjudication boards. Again, the government has not reacted so far.
Dr Delia only mentioned the teachers'' issue, which had been extensively dealt with by Mr Puli except to ask if the government intended bringing in teachers from Pakistan or Bangla Desh as has been happening with bus drivers.
For this he was roundly condemned by a Labour statement which denied this and which called him racist.
The PN in its campaign for a caring society is holding talks with stakeholders urging a common front against a government that intends to take over all institutions and steamroll over all. The PN intends to fight this trend not just through court action but also, if need be, by doing what was done in the past to safeguard Malta's democracy.
In his speech, Mr Puli criticised the lack of progress in school building and in the furnishing of school labs bu reserved the most cutting comments to the teachers' issue which almost led to a strike. 
The government intended to act by stealth to make the teachers' warrants temporary and they could be re-issued or withheld by a board appointed by the government itself  so that people approved by the government could be promoted and those not liked by the government held back or even sacked.
The government retreated because it found the teachers up in arms - this is a valuable lesson for all, Mr Puli concluded.

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