Ana Gomes heckles Joseph Muscat during Lisbon speech

As Prime Minister Joseph Muscat started singing Malta's praises at the 2018 Party of European Socialists Congress (PES) in Lisbon, Portuguese MEP, also a member of the Party of European Socialists, screamed 'shame' numerous times before she was silenced by applause

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat delivers speech at the PES Congress 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat delivers speech at the PES Congress 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal

Just as the PES 2018 Congress host, Antonio Costa, welcomed Joseph Muscat to the stage, repeated cries of "shame" were heard in the background. The familiar name of Daphne Caruana Galizia could also be heard.

This was Portuguese MEP, Ana Gomes, in her attempt to interrupt the Prime Minister before he was to start his speech.

Clearly unfazed, Muscat carried on with his speech and delivered it to continuous applause from the audience.

During the speech, Muscat sang Malta's praises while condemning anyone who was being pessimistic and trying to rain on a "successful" parade.

"As of yesterday, Malta registered the largest rate of economic growth in the EU, 7.5% in quarter three of this year," he said. "So, we have the best performing economy in Europe, which is run by progressives."

The prime minister seemed to emerge triumphant as he praised the progressive model of Malta, claiming that 18 EU member states followed Malta's example with LGBTIQ rights.

Even before Ana Gomes's intervention, she had already written on Twitter that his government "keeps criminals from the Panama Papers" and "blocks justice over the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia," in essence undermining the "credibility of the socialist political family."

Muscat talked about Malta's embracing of technological advancement, the island being the first to legislate on blockchain technology. While doing so, he took aim at political tactics that might have been adopted by Gomes in the same room.

"We are also living in an era of politics of disruption. Up to now, we have left this field barren of our influence. It has proved fertile for others, from the United States to the United Kingdom, the results of which are known to all. It is about time to start some disruption of our own. Disruption is not about wearing a particular colour or banging one’s feet. A politics of progressive disruption is one where we challenge, surprise, provoke," he said.

Muscat's speech starts in the embedded video at 2:23:10.

More in Europe