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[WATCH] Busuttil: As Prime Minister I will travel the world to clear Malta’s name

The Nationalist Party leader said the current administration had made it difficult for Malta to defend its name against unfair accusations abroad

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
10 May 2017, 9:18pm
Busuttil said that if elected he would travel the world and clear Malta's name from the damage done by the Muscat administration. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Busuttil said that if elected he would travel the world and clear Malta's name from the damage done by the Muscat administration. Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Busuttil: As Prime Minister I will travel the world to clear Malta’s name
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil has said that if elected Prime Minister he would travel the world if need be in order to clear Malta’s name from the damage done to the country’s reputation by the present administration.

Speaking during a Q&A session in Zurrieq, Busuttil said he was disappointed by news reports today that German state minister Norbert Walter-Borjan had referred to Malta as Europe’s Panama.The comments were made following a data leak revealing information about 70,000 offshore companies in Malta, 2,000 of which he said were evading tax in Germany.

“This is a piece of news which hurts me deeply and one which puts our country’s name in international news for all the wrong reasons,” he said.

While he did not agree with the statement, Busuttil said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s behaviour and his reluctance to fight corruption had resulted in Malta not being able to defend the its name against this type of allegation abroad.

“We are not, and don’t want to be the Panama of Europe,” he said. “Our problem is not that we are but that there is a corrupt clique in Castille with companies in Panama.”

Busuttil said that this was the reason the country needed to vote for Malta in the coming election, and pledged to travel the world, and go wherever it takes to clear Malta’s name.

The PN leader also said he would be launching an initiative that would help him in his desire to change Maltese politics, by changing the system which sees government taking decisions, with people having no option but to accept these decisions.  

“I want the government to listen to the people and not for people to decide only once every five years. I want people to decide every day and to vote every day,” said Busuttil. 

Turning to the PN’s election proposals, he said that they had been well received by the public and questioned why Prime Minister was putting forward proposals when he could have easily implemented them in the coming budget.

“How can we believe he will implement his proposals,” said Busuttil. “He told us this will be the last election he contests and he won’t be held accountable and will have escaped by the next election.”

He said he could not understand why Muscat was opposing the PN’s free childcare proposal, adding that the service should not only be open to working women,

“What if someone doesn’t work but needs to take care of an elderly parent or a family member who is sick? Shouldn’t they be able to take their children to a childcare centre?” he asked.  

Turning to the PN’s proposals on housing, Busuttil said that not only had the government not built any housing units over the past legislature, but it also raised rents for people on social housing. He said a new PN government would invest in social housing and would seek investment in social housing through public-private partnerships.

Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Moreover, Busuttil said a PN government would reduce rents once again and refund people for rent paid since rates had gone up.

He insisted that it was he who had initially suggested, during last year’s Independence Day celebrations, that these people should be refunded and that contrary to what the Labour Party had said this morning, it was the government that had copied the proposal.

“He is promising to change something he did himself,” insisted Busuttil.

Furthermore, he said a new PN government would also increase rent subsidies and would remove income tax paid by landlords renting their properties at affordable rates to those in need.

He added that the government’s scheme for first-time buyers was a good one and that the PN in government would extend this to those who have been recently separated or divorced.

“Today you have people who have separated or have gotten divorced. These people find themselves in a position where they have to buy a house once again,” he said, adding that

He said the PN would be offering a politics for the people, and that people like Marlene Farrugia, who had put their faith in the Labour Party were right to be angry.  

Had he been prime minister, Busuttil said, he would have used money spent by the government on Café Premier, the Gaffarena expropriation and the Australia hall, on social housing.

“They are focused on the corrupt clique, while Forza Nazzjonali is focused on Malta,” he said.

Busuttil stressed the PN was happy to be in a coalition with Marlene Farrugia’s Partit Demokratiku because the election was about the future of Malta and not about the Nationalist or Labour parties.

Farrugia, speaking in her hometown, apologised to people for her efforts to convince them to vote for the Labour Party, insisting that at the time she too believed in Labour’s manifesto.

“I kept defending that which I promised you,” she said. “Even at the start of the legislature, I was defending the manifesto which I came and explained to you and the country.”

He criticised the government for the way in which it handled the sale of the country’s assets insisting it was unacceptable for contracts to be published with “the most important parts” redacted.

She said the Labour government had nothing for the people of the fifth district. She said dumping in Wied Tfuilja was still taking place, an LNG tanker had been placed in Marsaxlokk, no new projects had been started in Birzebbuga, and fuel storage tanks in the same localities had not been removed as was promised.

She said these were among some of the promises that she had fought for when she was still part of the Labour Party and which had not been kept when the party took office. 

 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...