The Malta Independent 12 November 2019, Tuesday

Watch: Joseph Muscat is the dirty past of the last four corrupt years - Busuttil

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 1 May 2017, 16:01 Last update: about 4 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has betrayed the Maltese and Gozitan people, PN Leader Simon Busuttil told a lively crowd at Spinola Bay today, during the 1st of May mass meeting.

Dr Busuttil said: "four years ago, Joseph Muscat was something new on the horizon. He was the country's future. But today, Joseph Muscat is the dirty past of the last four corrupt years. He led us here to this point himself. People today are turning to Joseph Muscat and saying you took us for a ride. You betrayed us. You let us all down."

 

He said that the Prime Minister broke his promises of meritocracy, transparency and accountability.

In his address, Dr Busuttil praised past and present Maltese and Gozitan workers, calling them the backbone of the country. "Thanks to your work, we built the country we have."

He said that today marks the 13th anniversary of Malta's entrance into the EU, and called the decision "historic". "Today we meet in extraordinarily perilous circumstances..                        

Malta's Prime Minister is at the centre of a criminal investigation, through accusations that his wife owns a secret Panama company, Dr Busuttil said

The investigation began thanks to a courageous person, a whistle-blower who spoke out and told the whole truth. This whistle-blower is providing an example to each and every one of us. This person, for the simple reason of speaking out, has been attacked by the Prime Minister and those who support him, Dr Busuttil said.                     

She is not a whistle-blower who the Prime Minister wants to protect.                  

Dr Busuttil mentioned the Giovanna Debono whistle-blower, saying that "he was given contracts. Yet they want to break this person because she is speaking up against the PM."

OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri is also facing accusations of taking kickbacks from the sale of citizenship.   

                    

This is not only a corrupt act, but a criminal one. A criminal's place is at the Corradino Correctional Facility, and not Castille, Dr Busuttil said.                     

Dr Busuttil said that since the Prime Minister sided with Keith Schembri, then he is also an accomplice.                       

He referred to the "corrupt clique," calling it a "coalition of corruption."

He said that these circumstances, with one scandal after another hitting the government, have created a climate of instability and uncertainty. "Uncertainty and instability today have Joseph Muscat's signature. These are the circumstances that bring us here today."

He said that it is good when companies win contracts, but is concerned that the manufacturing sector is not being given the attention it deserves.  He made an electoral pledge: "This is an important sector, which thousands of families depend upon. I promise an Economy Ministry that focuses on the manufacturing sector and its workers, an Economy minister who will be focussed on you, and not one focused on mini-bars."

He spoke about shop owners and employees, saying that in towns like Paola and Valletta, places where sales have dropped, the PN will again give a push to small shops, and to all self-employed.

Dr Busuttil turned to Air Malta, and said that the workers are unsure about their future and about the country's future. They were promised many things, however these promises were empty. Today Dr Muscat forgot these promises and threw them away. We believe that Malta needa a national airline, and so we promise that a PN government will retain Air Malta.

Dr Busuttil turned his attention to the privatisation of public hospitals, and mentioned that employees in this sector are facing uncertainty after three hospitals were privatised. He was referring to the Gozo General Hospital, Karen Grech Hospital and St Luke's Hospital. He pledged that a PN government will again give the Gozo General Hospital back to the Gozo population, "so that it will be a hospital of the people, and not a private hospital".

He turned to the financial services sector, the gaming sector and the ICT sector. 22,000 people work in this sector. "There is uncertainty, and we know this. Malta's name is being tarnished." he said. Dr Busuttil said that a PN government will clear Malta's name across the world.

He spoke about the construction sector. Dr Busuttil said that while over the past years it continued to do well, "the workers know their jobs rely on other sectors, like the financial services sector, where many foreigners come to work, in need of property. We will keep your sector strong. a PN government will ensure there are more regeneration projects in areas like Qawra, Marsa and Bugibba. The PN will make the largest investment in infrastructure," he said, mentioning arterial and residential roads, squares, gardens and pavements.

Dr Busuttil spoke of introducing an alternative means transportation, through the possible introduction of an underground system to help solve the traffic problem.

The PN Leader referred to the police force, and thanked those officers who do their jobs properly. "Trust in the corps has, however, been lost, since the government turned the force into one that is there to protect Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. I promise to again help the police corps regain trust and respect, and that it be there to fight against corruption and criminality, to fight against drug trafficking and to ensure we live safely in this country."

Dr Busuttil spoke of low wages, for those who work as carers, cleaners, helpers and security guards. "Thousands of them suffer, and have to make sacrifices. Joseph Muscat promised to remove precarious work. Not only did the Labour government not do this, but precarious work has increased. There are many workers who are paid less than those workers who do the same job. A PN government will ensure that people receive equal pay for equal work."

The price for Malta's perilous situation, he said, is being paid for by youths. "Students in particular will pay for it, as it is your future that is being put at risk due to the actions of others. I know how youths and their parents make sacrifices, for studying, exams and private lessons. Now we live in a country where what you know doesn't count, but all that counts is if one is related to a minister, or if one asks help from a minister, or if your are made into a 'soldier of steel'. The PN pledges all students that it will again open wide the doors of opportunity, so that you can walk through based on your own work ethic, without you needing any politician. Politicians are there to serve you and not for you to beg politicians."

It is tragic that we have ended up here because of one man, "more so when you see that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had everything in his favour, with the largest political victory in Malta's history, just four years ago. He had the biggest chance to make good changes to the country, and keep leading the country forward. He was elected on many promises, such as accountability, transparency and meritocracy. But he has betrayed us, throwing away these promises. He not only broke them, he did the opposite."

"Four years ago, Joseph Muscat was something new on the horizon. He was the country's future. But today, Joseph Muscat is the dirty past of the last four corrupt years. He led us here to this point himself. People today are turning to Joseph Muscat and saying you took us for a ride. You betrayed us. You let us all down."

The Prime Minister promised this morning that he will resign if the Magisterial Inquiry finds him guilty. "I say this is too late. Now we don't believe you as you saw that the evidence is removed."

"What has been said is already enough for you to resign. Your Chief of Staff was found to take kickbacks for the sale of citizenship, and that is enough for you to resign. Yet you didn't. We are here to send Joseph Muscat a message. Leave now before you cause any more damage to the country. Do not stay there, stop damaging Malta's name. If you are drowning, don't take the country down with you."                       

"If you won''t leave, the Maltese and Gozitan people will judge you in the coming election."                       

He said that a PN government would order an investigation into the cases of corruption, and will ensure "that justice is done. We will ensure that those people who lead, with me being first, will have the greatest controls put on them so that we will ensure that what is happening today will never happen again."

"A special anti-corruption investigative magistrate will be appointed, so that corruption investigations will not depend on the puppet police commissioner or the Prime Minister, but will depend on the judiciary."

The choice in the upcoming elections are not between Joseph Muscat and myself, not between the PN and the PL, not between red and blue, but it is a clear choice between what is right and what is wrong, between lies and the truth, between honesty and corruption. Above all, the choice is between Joseph Muscat and Malta."

"Joseph Muscat needs to win the general elections, as if he loses, he will be interrogated, will be arrested and could even end up in jail. This is why he needs to win, but we want to win so that you can once again have a country which you deserve. This is the difference between Joseph Muscat, and the PN."

"Joseph Muscat needs to win so that Malta remains his. We want to win so that Malta will once again belong to the Maltese and Gozitan people."

The PN Leader said that he has no doubts, that between a choice for Malta or the Prim eMinister, the Maltese people will pick Malta. "If we pick Malta, Malta will win. If Malta wins, the people will win. If the people win, then everyone wins."                  

"The time has come, and when the country calls us, it is our duty to stand up and show the country that we are here for it."

 

Amidst PN flags and banners, the odd Panama flag could be seen in front of the Centru Laburista club - a clear reference to the current scandal. People began arriving at around 2 pm., and PN Executive President Ann Fenech could be seen walking around the crowd.


Marlene Farrugia PN mass meeting St Julians from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

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