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European socialists demand action against Mallia’s ‘progressive Hitler’ comment

The European socialists are ‘horrified’ by Salvu Mallia’s choice of words to describe the infamous Nazi leader and Simon Busuttil’s silence

miriam
Miriam Dalli
9 January 2017, 5:44pm
Sergei Stanishev: ‘It’s tasteless for a candidate to think it appropriate to invoke a genocidal dictator in an attempt to criticise a progressive elected leader such as Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat’
Sergei Stanishev: ‘It’s tasteless for a candidate to think it appropriate to invoke a genocidal dictator in an attempt to criticise a progressive elected leader such as Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat’
That Salvu Mallia saw Labour leader Joseph Muscat as public enemy number one has been made amply clear time and again.

But for the PN candidate, Muscat was also akin to “a dictator”. In describing why he disliked Muscat so much, Mallia tells a Sunday Times journalist that dictators “pretend to be nice”, drawing comparisons with Adolf Hitler whom he described as “very progressive”.

The comment did not go unnoticed by the Labour Party, who this morning issued a statement drawing attention to Simon Busuttil’s “silence” on the matter.

“The fact that Simon Busuttil remained silent is not only worrying for the Nationalist Party, but more so for the country,” the PL said.

Mallia’s full comment, as reported by the newspaper, was: “Muscat is a tasteless crook who exploited all the weaknesses of society. For me this is a battle against evil. No dictator is ever up front about their intentions to screw you. Dictators pretend to be nice. If you look back at Adolf Hitler, he was very progressive. The first campaign against smoking was carried out by the Nazis. Society was affluent. That was Adolf Hitler. Was he good? I don’t think so!”

The comment was not missed by the Party of European Socialists either, who also issued a press statement expressing their horror at the choice of words.

“Simon Busuttil, the leader of the Maltese National Party, has refused to pass comment after one of his leading parliamentary candidates described Adolf Hitler as a ‘very progressive’ leader,” the PES, of whom the PL is a member, said.

“The Party of European Socialists is horrified not only at the outrageous comments themselves, but at the failure of the National Party leader to deal with the issue as soon as they came to light.”

Sergei Stanishev, PES president and former Bulgairan prime minister, also weighed in, calling on Busuttil to “disown his candidate’s despicable comments and to set out the measures he intends to take to correct the situation”.

"If Mr Busuttil does not have the courage even to stand up to one of his own candidates who has so clearly crossed the line, then he certainly does not have the necessary attributes to lead Malta's official opposition, never mind to stand for election to government” Stanishev said.

"It is also tasteless that a political candidate from any party should think it appropriate to invoke a genocidal dictator in an attempt to criticise a progressive elected leader such as Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat."

miriam
Miriam Dalli joined MaltaToday.com.mt in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...