The Malta Independent 12 November 2019, Tuesday

Delia: Opposition ready to go with government to Brussels to explain Malta's position on immigration

Noel Grima Sunday, 17 June 2018, 12:00 Last update: about 2 years ago
The Opposition is ready to join up with government and go and tell Brussels about Malta's position on immigration, Opposition leader Adrian Delia told an interviewer today.
Speaking in an interview with journalist Mario Frendo on Radio 101, Dr Delia said Italy thought it could force Malta to take in some of the asylum seekers from the ship Aquarius. These were men, women and children of African origin who are trying to escape from war,, dictatorships and poverty and go and live in Europe.
Our national interest must come above everything, Dr Delia said. The Opposition criticises government when it is wrong but when the national interest is involved, he would be ready to join the government and explain that rescued migrants must be taken to the nearest safe port. In this case Italy decided to close its ports. Europe must be made to see that its responsibility lies in investing in Africa and evaluate those who want to go to Europe to see that terrorists are not hiding among them.
In the other parts of the interview, Dr Delia spoke about the Opposition's differences with the government. He spoke first about his meeting with Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova last week. At the same time that this visit was taking place, the Commission Vice-President Timmermans was saying that MFSA must be investigated.
It was the new PN administration that in 1988 launched the first financial services laws in Malta. At first, the direction was to go for offshore business but after some years this was changed to onshore business. Today this sector employs thousands of workers with good salaries who have turned Malta into a centre of excellence.
All this has been destroyed in just four years with Panama Papers, scandals, the sector exposed to dirty money,. The employment of many i the sector is now threatened because the government has refused to sane advice and did nothing to correct the situation.  Today both MFSA and FIAU are being investigated.
He met a potential investor who expressed worries about the international perception of Malta. He has spoken about this to the prime minister both in public and in private but it is clear Dr Muscat does not want to do anything. In the coming days the PN will explain what it intends to do when it is returned to government.
Dr Delia criticised Finance Minister Edward Scicluna for not uttering one word of condemnation about what has been happening.
He also spoke about the Carmelo Abela case and said this proves what he has been saying all along, that Malta is not a normal country. The government mantra has always been that Malta 'belongs to us' and the minister was putting this in practice when he sent government employees to do work on his home.
Next on his list, Dr Delia spoke about the situation at the Law Courts and countered the government's claim that things are improving at the Law Courts. What the government did was to add the divorce cases (which do not take long) to the other cases and so proved law cases were being decided in a speedier time. But people who have court cases know this is not true, as they also know that the full judges complement of 25 judges is now five less. The magistrates in charge of very sensitive cases have to take on a full normal load as well.
Dr Delia next spoke about inflation. The government boasts that the economy is improving but does not say that public debt has increased by €500 million. Nor does the government speak about the normal conditions of life for most Maltese people who see minimal increases to their wage while the prices of anything from a steak to a pizza are going up. So are rents: people with a €900 wage a month have seen their rents go up from €400 to €600. This government is creating poverty.
This is also clear in the ARMS issue where the PN initiative to take up the complaints by residents against too high ARMS bills has been a resounding success. It has been confirmed that 80% of ARMS bills ate inflated. A family of two from Attard found that the government has stolen €147; a family of three from Qormi was stolen €135, a family from Zabbar was stolen €131 and another family from Attard was stolen €143. The Opposition commits that what was stolen by the government will be returned to the people.
Lastly, on embryo freezing, the government accepted to consult  more but then everything was hurried up and a hotch-potch bill was the result. Then, when the government found out the mistakes that had been made, it removed the surrogacy part from the bill and still people are not satisfied and they have asked for a meeting with the president who replied in a cautious manner.
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