The Malta Independent 30 September 2022, Friday
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Pre-electoral ‘guarantees’ for Air Malta employees were just empty promises – ADPD

Saturday, 13 August 2022, 10:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

It is evident that the Labour Party uses politics as a game in which empty promises may be made in order to buy votes, ADPD – The Green Party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said in relation to the latest developments with respect to Air Malta.

It is now well known that the Labour Party in government had been preparing for the distinct possibility of winding up Air Malta, even though just a few months ago its employees were guaranteed  that the company will continue to operate and that any excess labour would be transferred to the public sector subject to the same salary and conditions, Cacopardo said in a statement.

This guarantee cannot be implemented as it would create havoc in the public sector due to the large disparities in the pay structures and applicable benefits. Indeed, in the Labour Party’s electoral programme we read that a process has commenced to ensure that Air Malta will remain in operation and serve its strategic objectives in line with EU regulations (p. 222). Media reports this week revealed that this was all a charade and empty promises. The Labour Party does this unashamedly.

This is a result of political clientelism that has been practiced without any restraint since the setting up of Air Malta. Subsequent strategic plans failed because there had not been the political will for Air Malta to operate without political interference. Millions of euro in ‘aid’ have been squandered which effectively financed the clientelism that has led to Air Malta’s own downfall. This is also applicable to the substantial amounts promised to those who opt for early retirement. These sums of money are daylight robbery of the taxes we all pay. It is a squandering of public funds to make good on electoral promises which cannot be honoured.

The current state in which Air Malta finds itself in is sheer testimony of the political clientelism that has ruled our country. It is both the current Labour government and the Nationalist Party which are at fault too because the latter had the opportunity to fix the situation but instead opted to milk this ‘cow’ too.

We have now become used to governments and politicians paying lip service to the principles of good governance, but then unashamedly practicing clientelism targeting vote buying.

In this respect the term PLPN definitely applies because on these matters they agree wholeheartedly. PLPN are both responsible for bringing down Air Malta to its knees, concluded Cacopardo.

 

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