Prime Minister answers electorate’s questions
Prime Minister answers questions sent by the electorate on topics ranging from irregular immigration, retirement age and the ‘unjustifiable’ resignation of PN colleagues.
1 July 2012, 12:00am
Gonzi said the immigrant’s death took place in ‘suspicious circumstances’ and the government will continue to work on the issue of irregular immigration.
“Human life should be appreciated and dignified no matter the background or ethnicity. When human life is involved and threatened, the government does not wait to be criticised. When lives are in danger, the government will do anything to save them in the name of Malta and the European Union,” Gonzi said.
The Prime Minister also said that as a result, Malta will expect aid as a result but the government’s primary concern was to rescue lives.
Answering a question regarding retirement age, pensions and cost of living, Gonzi said that during the EU summit, Malta disagreed with the European Commission to further increase the retirement age.
“After a recommendation made by the European Commission, Malta’s retirement age was increased to 65 years over a period of time. The EC, however, said this was not enough and said it should be increased further. We disagreed,” Gonzi said.
He said that based on life expectancy studies, Malta would not consider increasing the retirement age for another 30 years.
Replying to a question regarding plans for persons with disability and benefits, Gonzi said that the government’s main priority was inclusion and improving services and benefits.
“Persons with disabilities should be included in our society and not segregated as has been done in our education system in the past. More needs to be done but we are already setting up houses within the community providing services to the families of relatives with disabilities,” he said.
Referring to recent events which took place in parliament, Gonzi was asked how youths were expected to enter politics as instability within the government continues.
“I am assuming the question is referring to the unjustifiable motions put forward for Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Richard Cachia Caruana’s resignations. I can tolerate criticism but having persons from the Nationalist Party voting with the opposition is unacceptable,” he said.
Gonzi explained that the Nationalist Party’s internal issues would be dealt with internally and a statement of condemnation had been issued by the Executive against those who voted with the Opposition.
“More action will be taken and the PN will continue to address the situation which cannot be ignored,” he said.
Answering a question regarding Air Malta, Gonzi praised the work done by Richard Cachia Caruana and said the approval of the restructuring plan by the EU could not have been achieved without his input among others.
While trying to improve the success rate of persons leaving school, Gonzi said that individuals who failed to gain required certificates but were willing to accept further training should be encouraged.
“We need to be prepared to continue training, and change with the times to increase the opportunities for citizens despite the small size of our country,” Gonzi said.