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Franco Debono, still angry, keeps up his attack on Gonzi

Labour accord Nationalist MP ample space to paint Gonzi administration as ‘intolerant of dissent’

Matthew Vella
11 September 2012, 12:00am
Franco Debono (right) accused the Prime Minister of having low standards of MPs.
Nationalist MP Franco Debono sent a stark reminder to Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi of his wavering support as the Nationalist government prepares to open the political season with its last Budget before the coming general elections

In an interview on Labour television One's Resumé, Debono delivered his usually scathing dissection of the Nationalist administration, accusing the Gonzi administration of being intolerant of dissent and careless about ministerial accountability.

His rant was given short shrift by the ministers that are frequently the target of his criticism: Austin Gatt, Dolores Cristina, and Tonio Fenech ignored questions by One News reporters over Debono's sniping from his personal blog.

"There is a clique of people - Richard Cachia Caruana, Edgar Galea-Curmi, and Austin Gatt - who want to keep calling the shots. This system of ignoring MPs and ministers was devised by Cacia Caruana, who has enjoyed considerable influence on prime ministers. The way our political system has developed is by having a government that undermines the parliament, without the parliament scrutinizing the government."

But on the most part, Debono insisted he had been the victim of the prime minister's inner circle and that while he was called on to resign the party and now banned from contesting the next elections on the PN ticket, no minister had been forced to resign over ministerial shortcomings.

"Unless you are some altar boy or a 'yes man' with these people, they will destroy you, as they tried to do in that Bondiplus interview," Debono said referring to his encounter with TVM presenter Lou Bondì in which the MP outshone the TV journalist's barbed incursion. "The 'prize'," Debono sarcastically noted, " was to stop attacking me."

Debono kept up the attack on Lawrence Gonzi, who still does not have the guarantee of his support in the next Budget - which needs both Debono's vote as well that of independent MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando - saying the prime minister had low standards of MPs.

In his first missive, he hit out at Gonzi's cousin Stephen Spiteri: "Spiteri was given Gonzi's second seat and that's how he was elected to parliament. He didn't know then where parliament even was, and he still doesn't know where the House is today, if you had to see his record of absenteeism. If that's the standard of an MP for Gonzi, I don't know how he can be strong with his own ministers."

Debono reiterated common stands he has been vocal about: keeping Austin Gatt accountable for the public transport reform, and now planning to file a motion of no-confidence in health minister Joe Cassar over various shortcomings in the health sector.

"These ministers are refusing to be accountable to their voters... the government takes all. Consider the way Austin Gatt had told journalists the evening we met for a PN executive meeting that 'we were having a piss' - what kind of minister passes some comment like that?"

 The MP also claimed there were several divergences inside the PN backbench, but said that each MP had their own personal reason not to raise trouble.

"You only have to see the way they treated John Dalli when he was made to resign - and do take note, this came after he contested Gonzi in the leadership campaign - everyone who disagrees with Gonzi is passed through some martyrdom."

Matthew Vella is editor and MaltaToday on Sunday.

He joined Mediat...
Kuragg Franco! Uriena li ghandek tnejn daqs Jeffrey!!
Fleur Mifsud
Kieku kellna iktar MPs bhal Franco! U ghala t times of Malta ma qeda ggib xejn fuq dak li qed jghid Franco? Jien gazetta li tinfurmani nixtri u mhux gazetta li tisqini li jaqblilha.....
Fleur Mifsud
Kieku kellna iktar MPs bhal Franco! U ghala t times of Malta ma qeda ggib xejn fuq dak li qed jghid Franco? Jien gazetta li tinfurmani nixtri u mhux gazetta li tisqini li jaqblilha.....
tony fava
@briffy. What the heck do you think that all those sangisugi, good for nothing bootlickers that you mentioned, are ? Yes, I repeat our country deserves better than Gonzidcgpn and Franco is only doing his duty by pinpointing the glaring deficiencies that you and I are paying for. That is if you are not on the gravy train and dont care a damn where your hard earned taxes go .
Basil Borg
A disgraceful gate keeping by the Times; thank you Saviour for keeping the information gate open!
Jimmy Ventura
Should Franco give GonziPN the chance to present his last budget?
louis fenech
l-arroganza ta franco qed tispikka. kontinwament jghajjar lil prim ministru u deputati shabu. l-anqas temmen kif dan franco qed jippretendi li jithalla jikkontesta f'isem il pn. @Fed Up - siehbi jghid x'jghid franco la gonzi u l-anqas il pn mhu qed jigu umiljati. gonzi jigi umiljat biss jekk icedi ghar rikatt ta franco.
[email protected]
@Tony Fava..if you wish we had more men like Franco, why don't you suggest to your leader to take him over, after all your leader says that his movement is open to all. Once this idea doesn't seem to have occured to your leader, it would be very nice of you to drop your leader a little hint about the matter. Unfortunately though, Franco Debono swears that he is a nationalist. It's only that he doesn't hit it with Gonzi, Austin Gatt, Cassar, JPO, Carm, Galea Curmi, RCC and of course with all those whom he perceives as persecuting him.
Polly Bonello
Koz hux, kif headlines bhal din ta Debono ma issirx headlines u anqas tigi mentioned fuq It-Times ta Malta? Ara spujnagg fuq page personali ta facebook taghmel headlines! M'ghalihom li qed jghadduna bi zmien? Grazzi bhal dejjem Malta Today!
Malta and the Maltese, Laborites and Nationalists, are being held hostage by this bunch of incompetents. On one side Lawrence DCG Gonzi and his oligarchy, who are very afraid to loose their seat of power and Franco Debono a power hungry politician, (I am more than sure if he was made a Minister his tune would have been very different), who always takes everyone to the edge of the cliff but never takes the plunge. Everyone has grown sick of these shenanigans if Lawrence DCG Gonzi still has some decency left he should call an election as soon as possible something that should have been done in the beginning of the year otherwise if for once Franco keeps his word and Gonzi presents a budget as scheduled we will be having an election in Christmas time.
Christian Thorn
"DCG" is fast turning what was once the Maltese Republic into a REGIM governing without a Parliamantary Majority! And the PN get so touchy even at a photo of him in a Col. uniform! What has he to say now?
Basil Borg
I just could not believe it; what a humiliation! Kif tista tibqa tirrispetta lill-Prim Ministru jekk dan ma jirrezejnax wara dik l-umiljazzjoni kollha?
You may not agree with his abrasive and non-diplomatic style but surely he is right in 99 per cent of what he says. The only difference between Franco and some other frustrated Nationalist NP's is that he, and only he, has the guts to speak his mind. All the others are yes-man and are only concerned in getting re-elected.
Carmel Xuereb
If there will not be an election in November Franco you will enjoy a second chance to vote in faviour of the opposition motion against Austin Gatt during the Budget debate of this Miniserial Vote and I hope that this time it will be a YES in faviour of the motion and no abstations at all.
peppi x
If I am not mistaken in this interview Debono confirmed twice that in Parliament he would not vote in favour of the Government as long as Gatt forms part of the Cabinet. In view of this can the Prime Minister reaffirm what he has been saying for the last few weeks that he has a stable Government when his Government depends on a MP who no longer forms part of his group, and another one who is constantly stating that he would not vote in favour of the Government as long as Gatt forms part of the Cabinet? Are we in for some surprise with Gatt resigning from Minister on the excuse that he will be running the nationalist election campaign?
John Azzopardi
Unfortunately Debono lost all credibility from both PN and Pl supporters. You you talk too much and try to have a hand in everything and don't compromise, you loose that credibility. I doubt if anyone would want to do business with anyone who is so stubborn. In life, it's about following the rules and and play the game. If you cannot do that, then no one has time for you whether you are right or wrong. So Franco, you basically dug your own grave. And no one takes you serioulsy anymore.
tony fava
If only we had more MEN like Franco Debono.
Carmel Xuereb
Alla jbierek ghal tat-Times din jew skappatilhom jew mhix ahbar ta' mportanza, imma ma jimpurtax nafu fejn thabbat qalbhom dawk. Issa nispera li din id-darba Dr. Debono jzomm kellmtu u ma jivvutax favur il-Gvern u jekk kumbinazzjoni l-Gvern iressaq il-budget (iktar le milli iva ghax nahseb lanqas il-Parlament mhux ser jerga jiltaqa ghax Gonzi jhabbar elezzjoni qabel aktar fis-17.11.2021)Dr. Debono ser jerga jkollu c-cans li jivvota fuq il-mozzjoni ta' l-oppozizzjoni fuq il-vot tal-Ministru Austin Gatt u jekk jivvota ma l-oppozizzjoni Austin Gatt bye, bye u anek l-Gvern ikun bye, bye u Dr. Debono jkun dahaq l-ahhar dahqa hu.
Anthony Ellul
The best thing for Franco Debono is to join JPO as an independent and stand alone in the next election. He would get elected and that would annoy Gonzi PN and give us the much needed third party.