[WATCH] Malta should aim for high quality tourism post-coronavirus, Delia says

PN leader Adrian Delia calls for a post-COVID recovery plan which transforms the crisis experience into improvements in various sectors

Adrian Delia was interviewed on NET TV on Sunday
Adrian Delia was interviewed on NET TV on Sunday

Malta should use the opportunity provided by the coronavirus crisis to make changes which lead to an improved situation in various sectors of the economy, Adrian Delia said.

The Nationalist Party leader said that the country should not just aim to a return to normality, but should have in place a post-COVID recovery plan which transforms the current negative experience into something better.

"When it comes to tourism, do we want to return to mass-tourism which was clogging up? Or do we want a higher quality form of tourism?" he asked.

In the financial services sector, he said the pandemic downtime offered a chance for Malta to fight its reputational problems. "We should seriously discuss which changes need to take place in our juridical and rule of law systems to show the world we will bounce back better than before."

Outbreak-mandated changes such as teleworking could also be carried over post-pandemic for those jobs which can be undertaken from home he said. "This will lower the number of cars on our roads."

Organised EU plan to handle migration cases needed

Turning to migration, Delia said that he was confident that nobody in Malta disagreed that the country had to save lives of those in danger at sea.

At the same time, the country had its geographical limitations which meant that it could taken on the burden of migration on its own.

"We have to fulfill our international obligations, but there also has to be a process in place whereby those who don't genuinely require asylum be returned to their home country. For those who do need asylum, a system has to be devised to determine which EU countries should take them in."

He said that an ad hoc solution to each individual migrant rescue situation was an inadequate approach. "There must be a structure in place for rescues to determine which countries will carry out such operations and to which country the migrants will be distributed," he said.

PN would cancel Steward contract

On the Steward deal, Delia said that if his party were in government it would terminate the hospitals contract.

He lamented that Abela had in his first 100 days in government not taken the step to cancel the contract.

The escape clause in the Steward contract which would see the government have to pay the US company €100 million should the concession be terminated was "illegal and immoral", Delia added.