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‘Prepared to present budget in November’ – Prime Minister
On election date, Lawrence Gonzi says: ‘I tell the curious ones to wait until I take the decision when it needs to be taken’.
16 September 2012, 12:00am
"You know, the most important question is not when is the election coming, but whether the economy is growing, whether we continue providing good health services, and whether parents are guaranteed a solid future for their children," Gonzi told RTK head of news Josianne Camilleri.
Gonzi added that election was "obviously near since the five years of the legislature as permitted by the Constituion are almost over". He went on to say that he will take the decision to announce the election date when the moment is opportune.
"I will not satisfy those suffering from curiosity. I will let them wait until I take the decisions which need to be taken," the Prime Minister added.
Interviewed on Radio 101 by RTK head of news Josianne Camilleri and financial consultant Jesmond Mizzi, Gonzi said government was working on the budget, expected to be presented in Parliament by the end of October, beginning of November.
He however evaded the question on how he expects to pass laws in parliament without the support of one of his MPs.
Backbencher Franco Debono has so far insisted he will not be supporting government while Austin Gatt remains a member of the Cabinet. Debono is also expected to present a no-confidence motion in Health Minister Joe Cassar.
But in his usual dismissive manner, the Prime Minister brushed aside questions regarding his parliamentary majority, and insisted that the most important thing for his government was the creation of jobs and economic growth.
"What others decide to do is not as important as what we decide to do for our country. We are working on the budget and we are prepared to present this strategic plan at the end of October or the beginning of November," he said.
Gonzi added that what the electorate is interested in is what the political parties are offering.
"We have statistics to prove what our policies are and how they work. What does the Malta Labour Party have? Nothing... complete silence. Are you ready to entrust your country in their hands?"
On the other hand, the Prime Minister conceded that people wanted "change" and that "change should be given".
"Isn't this what the Nationalist Party in government has been doing? The PN has been the catalyst of change, starting from Malta's Independence and the island's accession to the European Union," he said.
"Let us not forget that the Labour Party was always against change. It opposed the EU membership. It was against the privatisation of the dockyard even though it was draining the country's coffers.
"How can we today believe Joseph Muscat when he says he wants to bring about change when he always opposed it?"
Gonzi went to add that government had brought about change by increasing the health services, the increase in the number of students furthering their studies, the increase in job opportunities, the increase in foreign direct investment to the country, the transport reform and the education reform.
"The issue of the leadership of the country is not a question of changing parties. It's a question on who do you entrust your future in."
Gonzi compared the country to a baby, where a parent must decided whom he or she trusted enough to entrust its future with.
"Before deciding the change you want for your child you have to decided what you want for their future. Would you entrust the future of your child to someone who frequently puts his foot in his mouth?"
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