Opposition leader Simon Busuttil
Despite pledges of wanting Malta to be the best of Europe, the Labour government has turned the country into the worst member state of the European Union, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil declared.
Addressing party faithful in Mosta, Busuttil said the "Labour takeover of the army", "the appointment of the Police Commissioner" and "the removal of AFM Brigadier Martin Xuereb" were the height of "a dark week" for Malta.
Busuttil also lashed out at the appointment of the wife of the energy minister as an investment envoy, who will be receiving a reported salary of €2,000 per week.
"If any of this happened in a European country, the ruling government would have to shoulder responsibility. And while we had Joe Muscat calling for Malta to be the best in the EU, he has turned it into the worst democratic country," the Opposition leader said.
He went on to accuse the Labour government of being "hypocritical" in its condemnation of the infamous Gonzi administration honoraria increase, while the wife of a Labour Cabinet member will be receiving a hefty salary for her direct appointment with Malta Enterprise.
Busuttil did not hold back from lashing out at former European Commissioner John Dalli and his "surprise return" to Malta on the same day when Peter Paul Zammit was appointed Commissioner for Police.
Dalli yesterday said he returned to Malta on the 6 April when John Rizzo was still Police Commissioner.
Busuttil also accused Zammit of lying: "First he says there was no case against John Dalli and now he says the case is still open. Is there or is there not a case, Mr. Commissioner?"
The Police Commissioner has always maintained that the police investigation in relation to the OLAF report were ongoing but there was not enough proof for a criminal case against Dalli.
Turning his attention onto the Prime Minister, Busuttil said he wished to know whether Muscat "felt comfortable" with the Police Commissioner "closing the case when Rizzo, in agreement with the Attorney General, wanted to arraign Dalli".
"Are you comfortable with a takeover of the army? Do you now expect the Opposition to trust the new Brigadier?" Busuttil told the Prime Minister.
"Are you comfortable with giving a job to the wife of a member of your own Cabinet? Because the Opposition is not comfortable with all of this."
The Opposition, he said, looked forward to the reopening of Parliament and the Nationalist MPs will be there to seek further clarifications on the Chinese deal and why the Cabinet members "lied" in their assets declarations.
At one point, Busuttil and PN MP Robert Arrigo referred to some "50 persons" who had wanted to attend a tourism seminar organised by the PN but did not, "fearful of facing repercussions from the Labour government".