[WATCH] Muscat: ‘Gaming companies looking forward to continue working with us’

Italian Prime Minister Paola Gentiloni says Joseph Muscat is the right choice for Malta, describing him as ‘capable’ and a true friend of Italy

The chief executive of a gaming company that has been touted on social media as planning to relocate from Malta in the event of a Labour victory on Saturday, called prime minister Joseph Muscat to denounce the rumours and to insist the company had no such intentions whatsoever.

“In fact, the chief executive said he is looking forward to continue working together,” Muscat said tonight, as he addressed Labour supporters at a public meeting in Fgura.

An SMS which has been in circulation reads “don’t quote me but feel free to spread the word that very reliable people are claiming that betsson’s plan A on June 5th is the immediate departure from Malta, plan B, if PN wins they get a 3-month trial period. Same for Lufthansa Technik”.

Muscat said opposition leader Simon Busuttil even referred to the same SMS during a leaders’ debate they recorded earlier in the day, as part of the Broadcasting Authority series of pre-election debates.

He said the opposition leader hardly spent five minutes expounding his party’s proposals and programme for the future.

“Simon Busuttil brought only his usual rhetoric, and chose to hurl insults at me all the time, at one point even accusing me of turning a blind eye to corruption,” he said. “I told him he had closed not only his eyes, but also his ears and mouth, since he has a deputy involved in an investigation into money laundering.”

Muscat said that Busuttil had – in a press conference in the morning – suggested that a PN government would consider the other power stations the country had while it removed the LNG tanker from Delimara.

“You do not expect a man who is in the running to become the next prime minister to suggest that the country turn its back on gas power plants and go back to using heavy fuel oil and having people start suffering from respiratory problems once again.”

He said the Labour Party had shown people could on it, and that it had proven to have social issues at heart.

“Today we can confirm that following a recent decision by Actavis to split operations, a Maltese-Indian consortium has been formed to take over the Arrowpharm factory with a commitment to keep on all employees,” he said.

Paolo Gentiloni: 'Muscat is the right choice'

In an endorsement message aired for the first time, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentilonisaid he believed Muscat was the right choice for Malta, having come to appreciate his capabilities in the past few months and years.

“The collaboration between our two countries is of historic significance for the both of us,” he said. “In working with Joseph, even during Malta’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, I have seen how capable he is in mediating between parties and pushing proposals through.”

Gentiloni said he had worked with Muscat on presenting a common front on issues like migration and other social issues affecting the European Union.

“Joseph Muscat has shown he is able to pay attention to social issues and to care about people in need,” he said. “He is young but he has ‘leadership’. I think he is the right choice for Malta and I know that for Italy it would mean we would be able to continue to count on a leader that has demonstrated to be a true friend to Italy.”