[WATCH] Tony Zarb warns ‘of suffering under PN’

The GWU’s former secretary general Tony Zarb comes out of retirement to endorse Joseph Muscat

(File photo) Tony Zarb
(File photo) Tony Zarb
Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat

Tony Zarb, former secretary general of the General Workers' Union, came out of retirement to give an impassioned endorsement to prime minister Joseph Muscat, during a rally for elderly persons and pensioners at City Theatre in Valletta this morning.

He said that Muscat alone had the country's best interests at heart and encouraged Labour supporters to vote in Saturday's election to ensure the prime minister could build on the great success he had achieved in the past four years. 

Zarb criticised opposition leader Simon Busuttil for debasing Malta's image in Europe and beyond and now claiming he would travel around the world to clear Malta's reputation in the wake of allegations of corruption and money laundering against Muscat's government. 

"Now you want to try and appear like you care for Malta's reputation, after all the harm you have caused our country?" he said, in reference to Busuttil. 

Zarb also addressed undecided voters who might have been hurt by the Labour government. 

"Imagine how much worse you will suffer if the Nationalist Party won the election. I know that under a new Labour government, your hurt will be gone," he said.

"After all, Simon Busuttil has already stated he intends to lead a 'Labour-proof' government."

Zarb said that when recently underwent some medical tests, his major worry was not being able to vote during the election.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appealed to all Labour Party supporters to go and vote as early as possible this Saturday so that they would then be able to help party representatives convince more people to go and vote.

Muscat also urged supporters to help him convince undecided voters to vote Labour in the upcoming election and to ensure that all their family members had received or collected their voting document.

He said that if they were to ask anyone if their family was better off today than four years ago, everyone would agree that they were.

“Indeed, everyone would agree that the country as a whole was far better off today than four years ago,” he said.

Muscat said that the country had never seen economic growth and stability as that registered in the past four years under his administration, nor had anyone believed unemployment could be so low with so many new jobs created.

“We have also done a lot for you, elderly persons and pensioners of our country, because no one deserves it more than you,” he said. “But we did not stop there, and we are now proposing even more measures for the upcoming legislature.”

Muscat reiterated the party’s pledge to increase pensions by €8 a week, over the next four years, in line with the recently-agreed upon increase in the minimum wage.

Labour had also promised to give the full cost of living bonus to all those who became pensioners after 2008 and to gradually give a full pension to all widows and widowers once they reached the age of retirement.

He also noted that pensioners under 65 years of age who remained self-employed would have the rate of their social security contributions reduced to one based pro rata instead of a full flat rate.

“And just as we reduced hospital waiting lists, we will also work to reduce the waiting lists for entry into old people’s homes,” Muscat said.

The Labour leader reminded everyone that the outcome of Saturday’s election would determine if the country would continue to enjoy the success it had in the past four years.

“Help me to ensure that our movement regains the trust of the people, help convince everyone to go an vote on Saturday, so that we can show everyone that our country’s best days are yet to come,” Muscat said.

“Like steel forged in fire becomes stronger the hotter the fire is, so our movement has become stronger over the past few years.”

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