Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi addressing the crowd in Birzebbuga
A decisive Prime Minister has reiterated that decisions taken within the Nationalist Party are "serious, strong and final".
Marking his first public appearance on a Sunday since the meeting held immediately after the vote on the Carm Mifsud Bonnici motion was taken, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi addressed the party faithful in Birzebbuga this morning.
Replying to questions by PBS journalist Maria Muscat, Gonzi once again rubbished the suggestion that his government is facing periods of instability.
"Government is here, standing strong, to tell you that we have created jobs. Every year for the past four years, Joseph Muscat insisted that 'an election is coming', and that 'government is unstable'.
"But, one budget after the other and one law after another, this government has proved it's stability."
Gonzi added that the Nationalist Party never hid from the fact that it was facing internal problems, and also problems within its parliamentary group.
"But we have always been a party that is convinced of the decisions it takes. Our decision are serious, strong and final. Because our decisions are based on safeguarding the interests of the Maltese and not for personal gain," he said.
This week, backbencher Franco Debono broke the general political lull by presenting a motion calling for the cessation of the heavy fuel oil firing up the Delimara power station. Debono also called Gonzi "a liar" when the latter denied government had tried to "buy" Debono's vote on the Mifsud Bonnici motion.
Debono has also insisted that the PN's decision to ban him from contesting the coming elections on a PN ticket couldn't hold as it violated the principles of natural justice.
But standing his ground, the Prime Minister has insisted that Debono must "face the consequences of his actions".
In full election mode, Gonzi said that the time for the Maltese to make their choices was getting close.
"The Independence festivities and the following days will be a time for the Maltese to make their decisions. And I am confident that you will make the best choice once again," he said.
Gonzi added that be it a general election, a referendum, or the choice for Malta's Independence, the electorate had always been the one to choose what it wanted.
"Unlike the typical Socialist government and the Mintoffian style, a Nationalist government seeks what you want. What is it that you want?
"Do you want the leave the future of your children in the hands of those who failed to create jobs during their tenure and those who want your children to pay for their education?"
During his speech, Gonzi also referred to the dispute between the Health Department and the former chief of the oncology department at Mater Dei, Prof Stephen Brincat. Brincat, Gonzi said, had objected over procedural and administrative matters.
"It comes naturally that people in the same field of work may disagree. In this case, the health department was receiving opinions in favour of joining oncology and haematology within the same department, while there were others who were objecting."
He said that everyone wanted the best for the patients, but disagreements over the methods would certainly arise.
"Our common goal remains to safeguard the patient's health and guarantee a sustainable future for the free health services we provide... it is important for our economy to remain modern and not revert back to the Mintoff economics."
Gonzi however failed to mention that, among other reasons, Brincat resigned from his post as he disagreed with chemotherapy services offered at the Gozo General Hospital. According to Brincat, the staff at the Gozitan hospital were not experienced or trained enough to provide the service.
Gonzi's speech was also marked by criticism towards the "Mintoff economics" and suggested that a Labour government would be practicing "the Mintoff politics".
"Don't throw away the past. It is a mirror of the future," he said, adding that he still remembered a time when going to Sicily meant being welcomed with chocolate and toothpaste.