The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

TMID Editorial: Delia on Xarabank - Solid on corruption, lacking on vision

Monday, 19 November 2018, 10:24 Last update: about 20 days ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia gave an overall solid performance on Xarabank on Friday night, showing up for the programme well prepared and delivering clear and direct answers to most of the questions he was asked. Yet his answers were a bit dry when asked about concrete proposals.

Delia kept his cool when faced with questions, from some members of the audience, which were very obviously planted by the Labour Party.

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As expected, the PN Leader was put in a tight spot when asked about the actions of dissenting MPs, including his predecessor, who still insists that Egrant belongs to the Prime Minister. Despite expressing clear disagreement with what these MPs are saying and doing, the impression given is that Delia is still struggling with internal issues. This is clearly something that he needs to work on.

But aside from this, the PN Leader made very good arguments on issues of corruption and poverty.

Delia delivered a solid argument on 17 Black. The PM has said that he will resign if any connection is found between him and the notorious company. But then again the PM is not taking the same stance when it comes to Schembri and Mizzi, who have a proven link with the company, which was indicated in leaked emails as being a target client for the Panama companies belonging to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi

Delia said Muscat had one standard for himself and another for those around him.

This is the same exact way in which the PM dealt with the Egrant inquiry. He had pledged to resign if it was found that he owned the infamous third Panamanian company. Yet he did not demand the resignation of Schembri and Mizzi, who admittedly owned the other two offshore companies.

For him, owning a secret Panamanian company was a matter of resignation. But the same did not apply for his right hand man and the tourism minister.

Delia was also right in saying that the PM is refusing to shoulder the political responsibility, even if the country’s reputation keeps being dragged through the mud.

When asked whether the PN was harming the country abroad, Delia said the government was attacking those who would expose corruption, rather than those who carry out crimes.

On the subject of foreign workers, Delia made sense when criticizing the government’s lack of planning, and the burden that it will place on our economy and infrastructure. This time round, he was very careful on his choice of words and avoided situations where he could be labeled as a racist.

He was not very convincing when asked what he would do as PM. Delia spoke about the need for forward planning but his reply was somewhat vague. His answer also hinted that any solution would take a lot of time to be implemented, meaning that the PN does not have a stop gap measure.

On the other hand, Delia once again showed that he believes that no one in society should be treated as just a number- not the poor, not the homeless and not those whose business ventures failed. While the government boasts about the many stories of success, the Opposition also wants to speak about those who are not doing so well.

Adrian Delia is getting better at the political game and he is truly speaking the people’s language.

But he must still tackle the internal issues gripping the Nationalist Party and also present the PN as a true alternative to the government – a party that has vision and a detailed plan and that is ready to lead the country.

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