12 climbers dead in Mount Everest avalanche
Updated | Gonzi accuses Labour of 'playing poker' with people's lives
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi says the PN is the "party of substance" while Labour is playing a game of poker with people's lives.
19 August 2012, 12:00am
During a short interview on the PN's radio 101, Gonzi said "In the near future we will turn to the people and ask it to weigh things up. On one side there is the Nationalist Party and its concrete actions and on the other hand Labour's secrecy. Labour is playing a game of poker by shirking its responsibilities. There is no substance in the Labour Party."
He stressed that the electorate will be given the opportunity to choose between Labour who played poker with people's lives and was not capable of coming up with any proposals and the PN, who was constantly coming up with effective solutions.
On the other hand, Gonzi underlined the PN's credentials by claiming, "we are the party of substance."
He explained that in the coming weeks, the party will be strengthening its internal structures and its policies "to maintain our relevance."
"Unlike Labour which was never capable of creating jobs, but instead promoted protectionism and created military corps for the unemployed, the Nationalist Party will continue offering polices of substance."
Without making a direct reference to elections, Gonzi said the people will soon be called upon to make a judgement, adding that "we have always respected the will of the people" adding that he believed the Maltese are "intelligent people."
He added that his government has captained a ship in stormy waters, but "we have always held our head high and believed in the capabilities of Malta's human resources."
Asked what are the government's priorities in autumn, the PN leader said his government will persist with its efforts to create new jobs, invest in education, strengthen the health system, improve the people's quality of life and move a number of bills in Parliament including the draft bills on IVF and cohabitation.
"We will maintain our efforts to move the country forward," Gonzi insisted.
Gonzi, currently on holiday with his family in Gozo, also spoke on the "encouraging" statistics on tourism.
"We are doing well in tourism thanks to our clear strategy in the sector," he said.
Gonzi cited the restructuring of Air Malta as one of the reasons for the positive results in tourism, which he said are better then the records achieved in 2011.
He added that a delicate balance had to be found between all stakeholders, including Air Malta and low-cost carriers. However, Gonzi noted that all parties involved listened to each other and responded to the situation.
"Results speak for themselves, and unlike past Labour tourism ministers, we do not need to plead with Italy and other neighbouring countries to send tourists over."
On the war of words between the PN and Labour on the government's claims of creating 20,000 jobs, Gonzi said "in the last four years we had around 16,000 new graduates, so if Labour is correct in saying that only 4,000 new jobs were created then we would have thousands of unemployed."
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...