From Matteo Renzi to Tony Blair, Joseph Muscat endorsed by former prime ministers

‘L’amico di Malta’, and former Italian premier, Matteo Renzi urges Malta to reelect Joseph Muscat to power

Former Italian premier Matteo Renzi addresses the Labour mass meeting (Photo: Chris Mangion/MediaToday)
Former Italian premier Matteo Renzi addresses the Labour mass meeting (Photo: Chris Mangion/MediaToday)

With five days to go until Election Day, tens of thousands packed the Granaries in Floriana yesterday for a mass meeting addressed by Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat.

But before their leader’s speech, the boisterous crowd was greeted by former Italian premier Matteo Renzi, “l’amico di Malta”.

Talking of the “extraordinary” economic results, Renzi paid praise to his “friend” Muscat.

“Beyond politics there are loyalty and friendship… Joseph Muscat is a friend and I believe that he will be the one to lead Malta into the future,” he said, speaking in Italian.

Renzi insisted that the European Union needed values, “of the Partit Laburista and of all of you”.

Jokingly criticising Muscat for supporting Milan AC, Renzi said that the two, round the table of the European Council, had pushed for politics which wasn’t built on austerity measures.

“Joseph succeeded in doing this, more than I did, bringing economic growth and the lowest levels of unemployment.”

Pushing for a Labour win, Renzi said: “I can’t see the end of this square but I hope that you don’t see the end of this [political] path. You are the future of this country: don’t stop this exceptional season.”

A video recording of former UK prime minister Tony Blair was also screened, in which the former Labour leader described Muscat as “a great example of what a progressive politicians could do in power”.

Blair, like Renzi, listed the country’s economic success and the record low levels of unemployment.

“A lot was done for women’s rights and for the LGBTI community,” he said, adding that he was “delighted” to see Malta holding the EU presidency.

“I know elections are always tough and sometimes they don’t always focus on the issues that matter, but they’re a moment of great decision. And so, as Malta approaches [election day], I congratulate him and wish him every luck.”