PN MP calls for enactment of laws preventing and combating sports corruption

Nationalist MP David Agius calls for legislation on sports commercialisation; urges government to initiate dialogue on Vote 16

Opposition MP David Agius addresses parliament
Opposition MP David Agius addresses parliament

Nationalist MP David Agius, the opposition’s spokesperson for sports and youths, has urged the government to prioritise legislation targeting sports, especially one that would strengthen the fight against corruption.

Addressing the parliamentary committee on the 2017 general budgetary estimates for the Ministry for Education and Work, Agius urged parliamentary secretary Chris Agius to kickstart the drafting of a law on sports commercialisation.

More importantly, Agius added, was the enactment of a law fighting corruption and match-fixing.

“This law should focus on integration, education, prevention and providing police with the necessary tools to enforce the fight against corruption,” he said.

Agius appealed for measures that would ensure that national teams are not marred by corruption.

“It’s shameful when doubts arise on our national teams or players. One should play for the national team, not for other reasons. These laws do not cost money but our commitment.”

Going through the budget estimates, Agius questioned why a football club should pay thousands of euros just to submit an application with the Planning Authority for the construction of a football ground.

On the promised track for motorsports enthusiast, Agius urged the parliamentary secretary to declare at what stage the plans are.

On Vote 16, Agius said consensus existed between both sides of the House that this should be the next step in the strengthening of democracy.

“What is the government waiting for to start discussions and change our Constitution?”

The PN MP also proposed for government to support youths in start-ups, by issuing guarantees.

PN MP George Pullicino
PN MP George Pullicino

On his part, PN spokesperson for education George Pullicino accused the Education Minister of not doing enough to address absenteeism from schools.

“Simply throwing money at the problem does not solve anything,” he said, referring to a Budget 2016 measure that increased allowances for parents who sent their children to school, by way of incentives.

“What Malta needs is a multi-level approach which provides support workers who work directly with families.”

Among other things, Pullicino questioned whether government would provide new laptops for teachers at church and independent schools.

Pullicino also accused the government of suffering from “a deadline fatigue” after he said that a number of projects announced in Budget 2016 were recycled in Budget 2017.

PN MP Karl Gouder
PN MP Karl Gouder

Karl Gouder, the opposition’s spokesperson for culture, said that much more needed to be done to give culture a stronger platform, including by measures that stimulate children’s interest in the arts.

Gouder expressed concern over the skills gap – a growing gap between what the education sector produces and what the industry actually needs.

On early school leavers, Gouder said the rate – despite the drop – was still high according to EU figures.

PN MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici
PN MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici

PN MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said that Malta needed to face a new reality: “The socialist principles which this government should have embraced are not being manifested, but it has adopted more capitalist principles where the market dictates.”

Mifsud Bonnici said Malta should enforce the fight against precarious employment whilst more attention should be given to the number of foreign workers in Malta.