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Labour slams Busuttil’s hypocrisy on helicopter incident

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has seemingly forgotten what abuse of power really means, Labour says, pointing out PN's hypocrisy over former PM's use of AFM helicopters.

Staff Reporter
24 January 2014, 12:00am
Leader of the Opposition and the PN's criticism of Labour MP Justyne Caruana's use of an AFM helicopter exposed PN leader Simon Busuttil's "shameless hypocrisy," the Labour Party said today.  

The statement was issued in the wake of criticism by Busuttil of reports that Joseph Muscat had allowed Gozo backbencher Justyne Caruana to be picked up by an AFM helicopter to take her to Malta International Airport to catch a flight to Marseille, where she was attending a conference for Mediterranean parliamentarians.

Pointing out that former prime minister Lawrence Gonzi made use of AFM helicopters to make 45 crossings between Malta and Gozo between 2008 and 2011, to attend political appointments, including a European People's Party activity in Sicily, Labour said the PN was being selective.

"The opposition leader has seemingly forgotten what abuse of power really means," Labour said, adding that Caruana's case could not be compared to Gozni's use of the AFM helicopters to attend political and social events.

"The difference between the cases is clear, on one hand an MP was only informed in the last minute over a trip abroad to carry out Parliamentary duties, on the other a prime minister who made use of a helicopter to attend social and political events. This is Simon Busuttil's shameless hypocrisy."

A report in The Times of Malta revealed taht Labour MP Justyne Caruana was flown from Gozo to the Malta International Airport by an army helicopter, describing it as an "unprecedented transport service" on instructions of the OPM.

A spokesperson for the government said the decision was taken so that Caruana could make it in time to the airport and catch a flight to Marseille.

Together with Labour MP Etienne Grech, Caruana was in Marseille to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. She also chairs the committee on the Middle East and had to present the parliamentary assembly with two reports.

It transpires that the government ordered back both MPs to Malta in case a vote on the Opposition's motion on the citizenship scheme were to be taken on Monday evening.

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Marcus Iwanik
Give us all a break PL and PN. You politicians are a waste of time. Please stop treating us like a bunch of imbeciles and start acting like the leaders you are supposed to be. Both PL and PN parties used jets, helicopters, cars and sometimes even the Gozo Channel Ferry at the Tax Payers expense. I sometimes wonder how many times you politicians used and abused Air Malta for your personal convenience? How about calling back a Gozo Channel Ferry back to Cirkewwa because an obnoxious Minister was left at the pier to wait for the next ferry? But as usual these things get washed away and nobody is held responsible. Stop using the people as your doormat and stop pointing fingers at each other because both parties are guilty of misrepresentation. You only get away with braking the law because us Maltese are very submissive, gullible and very well trained to accept anything you politicians dish out. But those days are coming to an end and if you do not believe me ask the Bishops how they lost all their power in the last twenty years. You can only lie to the people for so long, sooner or later you will be found out.
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