[WATCH] Updated | Joseph Muscat stays out of PN’s cancer billboard controversy

The Prime Minister believes the billboard is ‘insensitive’ towards cancer patients but that is as far as he goes on the matter • PN MEP candidates say that cancer is a reality people have to deal with and one politicians should provide solutions for

The PN billboard that was deemed offensive by cancer patients
The PN billboard that was deemed offensive by cancer patients
Joseph Muscat stays out of PN’s cancer billboard controversy

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has refused to enter the fray over a controversial billboard message about cancer, erected last week by the Nationalist Party.

Muscat described the billboard as “insensitive” towards cancer patients but that is as far as he went this morning when asked about the matter.

Some cancer patients and relatives of people fighting the disease took offense at the billboard, which showed a smiling woman holding a child who is reaching out to what appears to be her father, accompanied the message “We will Beat Cancer’  

The billboard was described as insensitive because it gave the impression that the PN somehow holds the cure to the group of diseases.

Cancer has featured quite frequently in the PN’s campaign, which has also included a list of proposals on pushing it to the top of the agenda in Europe.

Back in 2013, Muscat used to describe to old Delimara power station, which operated using heavy fuel oil, as a cancer factory.

PN's aim is to find a European solution to cancer

Asked about the billboard at a press conference, PN MEP candidate Peter Agius said that given the high rate of cancer in Malta and Europe, it was the duty of politicians to offer solutions.

"Our aim is to find a solution, even from Europe," he said, "It is a question of politics, because politics has to lead to solutions."

Noting that the European People's Party’s (EPP) lead candidate for European Commission president Manfred Weber had proposed a master plan which would see funding for cancer research doubled across the EU in order to better fight the disease.

Similarly, MEP candidate Frank Psaila said that cancer was a political issue, but “certainly not a question of partisan politics”.

"We see cases of people and families suffering from cancer, and these persons want solutions," he said. "This is not an issue of blue or red but a question of fighting cancer together."

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