The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Updated: 'Not acceptable to have a party leader found guilty of domestic violence' - Delia

Saturday, 12 January 2019, 11:15 Last update: about 5 months ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia remained adamant that he would not speak about his personal family situation given an agreement he made in court with his estranged wife, however did declare that it is not acceptable, anywhere in the world, to have a party leader found guilty of domestic violence.

The PN Leader is facing allegations of domestic violence, leading to arguments that his position as leader is no longer tenable given the allegations themselves. However, he remains adamant that he has no intention of stepping aside. Videos have also been making the rounds about his personal situation, however the Leader argued that they were heavily edited in a very malicious manner.

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Being interviewed by Andrew Azzopardi on Ghandi Xi Nghid, the PN Leader was told that domestic violence is a public issue, and that he needs to come clean about the allegations. While he  would not talk about his personal situation, he did say that he believes that, nowhere in the world, would it be acceptable for there to be a party leader found guilty of domestic violence. By saying this, the PN leader is arguing that he is innocent but at the same time saying that if found guilty he will step down.

During the interview, he was asked about the party situation, about the Corinthia deal and about the recent migration situation.

Nationalist Party

When pushed on the internal fissure being created in the Nationalist Party, particularly when asked about the pressures from inside the party for him to step down, he insisted that part of this is due to the "wider franchise" within the party. Further explaining that through having widened the member pool, this has now captured a "real picture of society at large".

The next point he raised was that he has risen from outside the party structure, which he described as a move that should be seen as "innovative" and "revolutionary" for any political party in Malta,.

Whilst noting the 54% of the PN paid members who voted for him, he brought up the point that many members did not know who he was and what his political skills were.

Azzopardi then asked him whether he regretted his decision to get into politics after all the recent happenings surrounding him, something which Delia refuted by saying that he now has more will and reasons than before to be a public servant.

"That which I used to see from the outside, I am now experiencing it form the inside.

"That which I used to think existed, was effectively there."

 Corinthia

As the interview moved towards a discussion of the sectors that were traditionally attracted to the Nationalist Party, the issue of Corinthia being granted public land at an undervalued price tag was raised.

Delia insisted that he is in favour of Corinthia continuing to grow, opening more hotels, Corinthia raising its level to a 6-star establishment, and promoting Malta's name.

What he was specifically against, he said, was the selling of 30,000 metres squared of public land for a pittance to a private company.

"I am not attacking Corinthia, but I am attacking the Prime Minister, who when asked how he is going to solve the housing issues for 3,200 people who are applying for social housing, says that those are only 3,000 and that the number has remained as it was, but then gives a prime site worth more than €800 million to someone without a tender for a pittance."

 Migration

On the topic of migration, more specifically the events surrounding the two NGO ships which came into Malta Wednesday after more than 18 days out at sea, Delia explained that when there is this kind of problem, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader discuss, and they will not be in a diametrically opposite position.

He did insist on the fact that Malta should not give in to bullying since we are a smaller country, and praised the fact that we managed to involve the European Union and its diverse institutions to help with this burden.

"I do not think I would have done anything differently."

Azzopardi also questioned him on the time Delia had asked whether "our children are going to end up with teachers from Pakistan and Bangladesh". He insisted that the reason he brought this up was because there was advertising for hiring done by the Government in those countries.

"The primary economic argument is that our country cannot keep growing economically solely because of the population.

"There are economic choices you have to make, and I do not think the government has a plan

"Are they planning schools, roads, an energy plan, or an integration plan?"


 


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