The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

Updated: ‘I love you’ – Konrad Mizzi tells Joseph Muscat; government 'here to stay' - Fearne

Monday, 2 December 2019, 07:11 Last update: about 10 days ago

“I love you – our project is still alive.”

With these words former minister Konrad Mizzi saluted the resignation of Joseph Muscat as Prime Minister.

Mizzi, who together with former chief of staff Keith Schembri opened a secret company in Panama, resigned last week in the wake of the police investigations following the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, who has since been arraigned and charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Mizzi thanked Muscat for his achievements over the past six years.

“This is the moment where we should remember from where we started, where we took the country, thanks to initiatives we worked on that were borne from your vision,” Mizzi, who presided over the controversial Electrogas project, said

Mizzi said that under Muscat the country had registered economic records, reduced energy rates, and attracted investment to the country.

“You know I was always behind you, right to the last minute. My resignation is testament to this loyalty. This is not Labour’s loss, but a loss for all Maltese and Gozitans who have the national interest at heart. I love you – our project is still alive.”

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli opted for a more sober tone. “It is a pity to see seven years of such unrelenting work for the country end in this way. Today's decision by the PM is not an easy one. There are many people who are sorrowful, but I am convinced that the prime minister took this decision in the best interest of the country. Thank you, prime minister, for your work.”

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said the news of Muscat's resignation shocked many people. He said he transformed the party from one in perpetual opposition to one that won 10 elections in a row, adding that Muscat enjoyed great credibility because he implemented what he promised.

Bonnici said Muscat promised assiduous work to find the people behind the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and, the day after a man was charged with the assassination, he decided to leave.

It is difficult to manage a government and party without Joseph Muscat, but we must not lose heart and work harder to achieve our goals, Bonnici said.

Kurt Farrugia, who served as communications officer for Muscat both as party leader and as Prime Minister, said he was "proud to have been by your side through thick and thin.

"I can vouch that I have always seen you do and decide on what is right. Always respecting your adversaries and loyal to your colleagues, staff and friends.

"Heartbreaking as this is, I know that your decision was once again the right one.

"Your legacy will prevail beyond the vicious narratives of some."

Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis was economical with his tribute: He thanks Muscat, saying that the economic, social and equality achievements remained his legacy.

Transport Minister Ian Borg and parliamnetray secretary Silvio Schembri just said "thank you".

Deputy leader and Healt Minister Chris Fearne said that tough decisions have been taken, but the wealth that was generated will remain and will continue to grow. The Labour Party and government are still here, and are here to say, united more than ever, he said, thanking Muscat.

 

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