The Malta Independent 4 December 2023, Monday
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PN’s only plan is ‘destructive’, while EU is on Malta's side - MEP Agius Saliba

Semira Abbas Shalan Saturday, 30 September 2023, 10:14 Last update: about 3 months ago

PL MEP Alex Agius Saliba said on Saturday that the PN’s only plan for Malta is a ‘destructive’ one, when on the other hand, the European Commission has declared that the European Union “is on Malta’s side.”

Speaking at a press conference, Agius Saliba spoke about the official MED9 summit in Malta held on Friday, where 9 leaders of Mediterranean countries collectively agreed on an official declaration, mainly seeking ‘assurances’ for migration frontline countries.


“Yesterday there was a golden opportunity, to address the common challenges faced by these countries, and 9 leaders, including Prime Minister Robert Abela, have agreed on 10 main principles,” Agius Saliba said.

The principles address the importance of a stable, pacific and prosperous Mediterranean region, as well as irregular immigration, climate change, protection of resources, the social sector, connectivity, the Mediterranean’s status in the European Union, and more.

Agius Saliba then said that there is a clear difference between the PN, and the PL, who consider  the interests of the country first and foremost.

He said that PN MEP David Casa has tried damaging the interests of the country, by writing a letter to European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, “lying” about the investments in the Gozo Nadur school, and attempting to interrupt Malta when applying and receiving EU funds.

Agius Saliba said that von der Leyen said that the EU is on Malta’s side, yet Casa is undermining this, casting an ugly shadow on the Nationalist party, as Casa tried dismantling the mechanism which provides for more EU funds for Malta.

“When you ask in a direct way to stop EU funds coming into the country, you would be trying to break the thing that provides funds which can go to Maltese people’s pockets,” Agius Saliba said.

He said that in fact, von der Leyen praised the Nadur school investment. Agius Saliba said that government invested in an already-built building, which was a viable land option, rather than abandon it, and use more land to build another school.

Agius Saliba said that the country’s plan for recovery in the EU is excelling, and leaders of the MED9 had also said that Malta was a platform for which the important declaration could be agreed upon.

“The PN cannot keep using each excuse they have, thinking this will win them political points. Whoever works against the country, never wins political points,” Agius Saliba said, adding that the PN was, is, and will still remain destructive.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett said that the EU package Malta has managed to secure for the next seven years is the largest packet the country has ever received, double that of a previous PN administration.

He said that while the Opposition perpetuates every negative narrative against the country, the European Union “is on Malta’s side” and supports the country’s plan fully, to support those investors who understand that a greater emphasis on innovation and quality is needed.

On Casa, Bonett said that it is useless for Casa to make video statements denying he tried to interrupt acquisition of EU funds, as in his letter to the EU Commissioner, he made it clear he wanted to interrupt the procedures of directing EU funds to Malta, causing damage to his own country.

He said that Casa has previously said that he did not look at Malta’s interests when voting in the European Union.

Bonett said that the country will continue to have a choice, either to move with the PL ahead with new prosperity, or move with the Opposition, which will “go back to the austerity and stagnation of a PN government.”

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