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[WATCH] PN government would keep good Labour measures, Busuttil vows

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says he would not do things the way Prime Minister Joseph Muscat – and past Nationalist administrations – did

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
1 June 2017, 9:53am
A new Nationalist government would not be scrapping all the measures introduced by the current Labour administration, but would keep and build on positive measures, opposition leader Simon Busuttil said today.

“We have this idea that when a government changes we need to change everything else,” Busuttil said, during a live interview on Net TV.

He insisted it would be counterproductive to get rid of something good and that he would not do things the way Prime Minister Joseph Muscat – and past Nationalist administrations – did. 

This morning, the country woke up to new billboards by Forza Nazzjonali showing Busuttil saying that the coalition would be keeping the good from the last legislature while doing away with the bad. Busuttil said that he wanted to make it clear that everything wouldn’t be set to change if he were to be elected.

 “Where there are things we can build on, we will. And the good things that have been done, we will strengthen,”he said. “But we will obviously remove whatever is bad.”

Busuttil said that Forza Nazzjonali’s slogan of ‘I choose Malta’ had been accepted by people because it did not reflect a political party trying to convince the electorate of something, but rather, reflected “a sentiment that already existed among people”.

“This is why it was received so well, because people said: this is what I’m feeling,” said Busuttil.

He added that people “feel there is a cause”, one which is bigger than the party.

“The closest to this election that we’ve come was 2003, when we decided to join the EU. It is more Maltese now because we have to decide what it is we stand for,” he continued.

Asked whether the Forza Nazzjonali would fizzle into nothing following the election, Busuttil pointed out how big a step it was for the Nationalist Party to open itself up.

“We were humble enough to say the challenge was so big that the PN couldn’t do it alone,” stressed Busuttil. “We needed the help of all good-willed people.”

He described how he had held talks during the past year with Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farruiga, and others who had voted for Joseph Muscat just four years ago, to make the coalition work.

“We wanted a break with the past. From a politics of one big party, where what the leader says goes a and the winner takes all mentality,” he said. “We wanted to able to speak around a table and reach compromises where everyone gives a bit but also gains.”

Turning to his various testimonies before magistrates over inquiries into alleged corruption and money laundering, Busuttil stressed that he should never have been placed in a position where he needed “to give to hope to people, that someone would do what was right”.

He said that he retains faith in the judiciary and hoped that they would do their job.

“They need to decide whether the evidence I brought forward is enough to start criminal proceedings against Keith Schembri,” said Busuttil.

The PN leader again insisted that if evidence were to be found against Schembri, the Prime Minister would need to resign.

As a result, he said the country could not afford a situation where Schembri, and therefore Muscat himself, had to resign a few weeks after being re-elected.

On Air Malta, Busuttil said that it was his belief that the country needed to keep a national airline.

He acknowledged that low cost airlines had liberated the Maltese people, resulting in them broadening their horizons, but insisted this did not mean abandoning the national airline, since private operators alone could not be trusted with ensure that the country was connected to the rest of the world.

As Prime Minister, he said he would do whatever was necessary, including negotiating with the European Commission, to save the airline.

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