Muscat sets disability as government's priority for coming year
Prime Minister Gonzi: 'The Nationalist government can keep on governing'
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi takes questions from public and assures supporters the Nationalist Party can keep on governing as it has the ‘right and duty’ to do
22 July 2012, 12:00am
Reading and answering questions through the PN's social media initiative 'MyView', Gonzi was asked whether the PN could keep on governing.
"Yes it can because as long as government retains the support of the majority in parliament, we not only have a right but also the duty to keep on working. Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando himself has declared that he is ready to collaborate with us to see that the PN's electoral programme is finalised. This is a vote of support," Gonzi said.
He said, that he had faced risky situations many times, not necessarily within the party but in situations whereby factories threatened to close down making hundreds of workers redundant.
"If it were for Joseph Muscat I should have called an election by the first problem that arose. But we, unlike them, don't panic in front of a problem. During 1998, their problem hadn't been Dom Mintoff, but their governing system.
"They removed VAT, deficit exploded, utility bills were increased when the price of oil had been a third of what is today. Their problem wasn't Mintoff, but their inability to face and address and find a solution to the problems," Gonzi said.
Asked how government will manage to implement further laws, Gonzi said these would be approved in parliament.
"We have several important laws to implement, including the IVF law, the Cohabitation Bill, the Whistleblowers' Act and amendments to laws to increase the rights of Parliament," he said.
Gonzi also added that in November government plans to present the pre-Budget document 2013 for approval in parliament.
Referring to Pullicino Oralndo's resignation from the PN and the Richard Cachia Caruana hearing, Gonzi said it had been an eventful week but that the PN should move forward from.
"Lots have happened in the past days. But what is more important? What the PN has gone through or what the people are really concerned about? As a leader I must address the internal problems of our party, but even more important is that we never lose focus from far more important things, such as seeing our country move forward."
Gonzi added he didn't want to see Malta "humiliated" like others have due to the economic crisis.
On the Richard Cachia Caruana hearing, which has seen the former permanent representative to the EU cleared of 'collusion' allegations with the PL during the 1998 elections, Gonzi said it was "shameful" of two Labour MPs not to turn up to the hearing.
"I am tempted to answer in a different manner," Gonzi told his audience, when asked why MPs Joe Mizzi and Karmenu Vella didn't attend the meeting.
"But it's typical Labour to tarnish your reputation and have nothing concrete to substantiate their claims. Vella and Mizzi made their accusations, but didn't have the courage to face him."
Gonzi went on to accuse Muscat of doing anything he could to put government in bad light, "even by taking advantage of MPs discontent with the PN for his own ambitions".
Gonzi said the Nationalist Party will not promise heaven on earth: "Our roadmap is based on the fact that we have absolute trust in the Maltese and that we let no one put spokes in our wheels. We can and will continue to work hard. We have strong values of solidarity with the elderly, with the families of persons with disability, we know compassion with the weak.
"But to this, to continue helping them, we must sustain this country to keep on growing economically. And this we do by taking the necessary decisions."
Answering a question on illegal immigration claiming that government's immigration policy was weak, Gonzi said that Malta's policy respected the human dignity.
"Our policy is to respect a person's dignity. Just like us, immigrants are persons with feelings, with dignity, whom we need to respect. They have a right to life just like everyone else. We cannot abandon them in the middle of the sea.
"It is because of this that I insist with European Union to help us help them. I see EU funds to us on immigration as a right. We are too small to manage on our own. And our continue insistence with the other countries had left positive results."
Gonzi also announced that with the limited resources, he intends to improve both the detention centres and open centres.
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...