Muscat: I will look the country in the eye and tell them the truth
Ahead of his debate with the leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister made a short appearance at the Labour Party general conference
21 April 2017, 8:06pm
“I was asked by my colleagues, about whether I wanted to prepare for tonight’s debate,” said Muscat. “I do not feel like I need to prepare because today we are not going to be talking about politics, but about what I swear to you and to God, is the truth.”
“I will go there and look people, the nation, in the eye and tell them the truth,” he continued.
Muscat was speaking at the Labour Party’s general conference which he joined half-way through, to a rapturous applause from those present.
“I’d like to thank you all for your support, and the solidarity you have shown me, my wife and our family,” he said.
Muscat pointed to Eurostat poverty data published earlier today, as the reason for the creation of the Labour movement.
“When in 2013 we were elected to government we inherited 39,000 people living in material deprivation,” said Muscat. “Today we had confirmation from the EU, that in three years, we reduced poverty by half, to 19,000 people.”
He said that while the Nationalist Party could use “attacks and lies” as much as they liked, the response from the Labour Party would come in the form of results achieved for the benefit of the country.
“Our strength lies in the truth, our strength lies in the results we have achieved and will continue to achieve,” concluded Muscat.
Deputy prime minister Louis Grech said that “attacks” on the the Prime Minister, and by extension the government, would only serve to strengthen its resolve and increase the sense of solidarity and unity.
Grech said that what was most important for the country at a time like this was stability, and stressed that the result of the magisterial inquiry should be awaited before anyone rushes to conclusions.
“The best thing we can do is show our support by attending the first of May celebrations,” he said.
According to the Grech, upon its election, the government was faced with two challenges: ensuring economic growth and wellbeing while also striving for social justice.
“In less than two years this government got this country out of the EU’s excessive deficit procedures,” he said, adding that it was not common for countries to turn public finances around in such a short period of time.
He said the government had tackled issues such as the countries high unemployment and people living at risk of social exclusion, and this was clear from the fact that Eurostat data was now showing that people living in poverty had been halved in four years.
Despite its successes, he said the government still had much to do and would be working on issues like increased female representation in the important roles, the fight against inequality and against xenophobia, among others.
“I believe that the majority of Maltese people are tired of tribal politics and extreme partisanship,” he said. “People want a debate on different ideas for the country”
Grech said he was convinced that people truly believed the Labour Party had kept its promises and that he was convinced that the country would put its faith in the government once again.
Labour Party finally a registered party
Earlier in the evening, Labour Party chief executive Gino Cauchi announced that the Labour Party was finally registered as a political party, after the Electoral Commission accepted the party’s submission.
Cauchi stressed that the party had always said that it would register immediately once its statute had been changed.
“This morning we received the letter from the electoral commission and three hours later we submitted the donation report for 2016 as well as the audited accounts for the same year,” said Cauchi.
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