Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi warns Labour has not changed, despite the revamp of its image
During a 30-minute interview, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi warned off voters from voting for a Labour government, insisting that it had a history of "discouraging and scaring off investment".
He said that their track record was proof enough to see that Labour "would set us back 30 years".
He said that the Labour government had supported monopolies and forked out millions in subsidies to sustain companies that were no longer viable.
"During the two years they were in government between 1996 and 1998, they managed to increase Malta's rate of unemployment to high levels; while other countries were moving forward fast, we were falling behind," Gonzi said.
"Look at the today: we have created 20,000 jobs; we are continuously attracting investment and, despite the financial storm which brought big countries down to their knees, we have the EU's certificates that our economy is strong."
Gonzi said the PL just didn't want to accept these facts.
"It simply doesn't want to admit our positive track record. They are now trying to find different ways on how to belie statistics that we created those jobs," he said, commenting that the PL "doesn't know how to count".
Gonzi said Labour's attempt at rubbishing statistics wasn't doing it any good.
As he listed the various government investments in the different economical sectors, Gonzi accused Labour of "having a history of economic stagnation".
He went on to draw comparisons between the number of students who continued studying beyond the secondary level and those who graduated from University in the 80s and today.
"Despite the financial turmoil, 4,000 students graduated - maybe 450 students used to graduate from university during their time," he said.
Gonzi turned his criticism towards Pl leader Joseph Muscat, reiterating that if he had followed Muscat's advice on the handling of the country's finances, "we would have ended up like Cyprus".
He said that he had always been "sceptic" of Muscat for first being against Malta's accession to the European Union and then changing his mind.
"Then Muscat came from Brussels, took over the PL and started giving advices. He said Malta should be like Cyprus and his idol was former Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero - both countries were now struggling, with Spain having the highest rate of unemployment," Gonzi said.
"Muscat's models always failed."
The Prime Minister went on to speak on how government had invested in parks and open areas to improve the island's quality of air and provide spaces where children and families could enjoy their time.
"And when we look around us we can see how we are improving our environment - and so we should not only be looking at the billboards," he said in a dig towards the current battle of the billboards going on between the two rival political parties.