‘Tonio Fenech doesn’t need my vote’ – Franco Debono to shun Budget day

Dissenting MP Franco Debono will not be attending 2013 Budget presentation on Wednesday, reiterates that he will vote against it.

Franco Debono is committing himself to a vote against the budget.
Franco Debono is committing himself to a vote against the budget.

Nationalist MP Franco Debono will not attend the parliamentary sitting on Wednesday when finance minister Tonio Fenech will present the 2013 Budget.

The crucial vote on the budget will be taken the following week.

Debono has insisted that he will vote against the budget and with the Opposition leader also declaring that Labour MPs will vote against the 2013 Budget, the Prime Minister will have no option but to dissolve Parliament and call elections.

"Is this man [Tonio Fenech] in his right senses? Knowing that he needs my vote in order for the budget to be approved he recently described me as 'water under the bridge'. This means that Tonio Fenech does not need my vote," Debono said.

"I will proudly vote against the budget. They cannot burden me with any responsibility because they have granted me the privilege to deliver the final blow to the oligarchy that has taken the country hostage."

Speaking on Radju Malta on Saturday morning, Fenech, who has antagonised Debono further in recent weeks, described the spat the PN had with Debono in recent months as "water under the bridge" and said that there is no room for reconciliation with Debono, who is banned from the PN ticket for next year's elections.

Explaining why he will not attend Wednesday's sitting, Debono said: "I have been insulted by Tonio Fenech just because somebody from my office defended Noel Borg Hedley. Above all Borg Hedley chose to carry the sins of others on his shoulders."

Borg Hedley, 67, a former private secretary to Fenech, had admitted to MaltaToday in 2011 that he would receive tips from contractors Jeffrey and Peter Montebello for Fenech's political campaign.

"When the budget gets stuck, all measures and details will be forgotten and deemed irrelevant because headlines will be dominated by the government's failure to get the budget approved," the MP said.

Debono said the electorate will ask the prime minister who so much time had been wasted when he knew this budget would not enjoy a parliamentary majority.
"I made it clear that with Austin Gatt in Cabinet I would not support government. Gatt is responsible for political savagery in the form of the BWSC deal, Arriva, the Fairmount affair, the privatisation of car parks, utility bills and God knows what will emerge in the coming days," Debono said of his feud with the transport minister.

He also noted that the Prime Minister chose to go ahead with the 2013 Budget despite Debono's no-confidence motion on Austin Gatt, tabled on 4 October 2012.

"GonziPN has rode roughshod over the Opposition, the people and then over dissenting MPs. Now the clique which has hijacked the PN is even trying to flog one of their very own, a real party man, through a very dirty campaign."

Although the PN was banking on a perceived reluctance on Debono's part of biting the bullet and bringing government down, the MP says that the situation has now deteriorated, and said the budget will still be implemented by whoever is in government after the election.

"I have been a gentleman notwithstanding the clear disagreement I have shown in the last months and years. I was gentlemanly enough to let them govern for a full term. Now they have cornered themselves. I have them ample time to change direction. However instead of firing Austin Gatt, he ended up deeper in the party's heart, canvassing for Tonio Fenech," Debono said.

This year's budget, the last in this legislature, will take place two days before the PN deputy leader election. The election will be contested by finance minister Tonio Fenech and MEP Simon Busuttil.

While saying that he has no preference on who becomes PN deputy leader, Debono said that he has picked up his voting document and will be exercising his right to vote.  "I am still a party member and I will show them that I am still there," Debono said.

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Gatt is responsible for political savagery.......AND YOU IS RESPONSIBLE FOR POLITICAL BULLYING. "Is this man [Tonio Fenech] in his right senses?.......WHO KNOWS BUT SURELY YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR RIGHT SENSES. "I will proudly vote against the budget. They cannot burden me with any responsibility......YOU REMAIN THE MAIN PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CAOS RAISED IN PARLAMENT, RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO LOST THEIR PLACE WORK, RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO WILL NOT BENEFIT FROM THE BUDGET AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FALL OF THE GOVERNMENT.
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Franco, x'demokrazija hi din li temmen fiha int...minghalik li kulhadd se jibza mit-thedid tieghek. Tinkwetax, waqqa' l-Gvern fi tmiem il-legislatura...basta tibqa' mfakkar bhal ma baqa' mfakkar guda.
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Franco should contest the coming up general election's as a Independent candidate ,he can continue to use his principles and guidlines which ever way he feels without any political party giving him a big slap .In my opinion many Pn voter's will give him their vote and floaters etc.We need change in goverment and parliament ? Asap.
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I honestly say that with or without Franco's vote against the Budget, the General Election has to done by next year. If Franco Debono was a 'gentleman' he would have voted against the oligarchy in the first instance in November 2011. Franco Debono's steam is running out.
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mela ha nghilkom jien ser jigri.Malli Simon jigi elett vici kap,austin gatt icedilu postu fil parlament u b'hekk Franco ikun jista jivvota mal gvern fuq il budget.
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Wara kollox Dr. Franco dawk jafu li int fl'ahhar iddur u ma tivvutax kontra il budget. Nahseb ghalhekk qallek "water under the bridge"
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Luke Camilleri
Franco will be the only MP left standing besides Tonio Fenech who will be making his budget speech! The rest will either be asleep, nodding off or drinking Energy drinks to keep awake!
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Sewwa taghmel Franco ma tghaddendiex bix turih lil Tonio Arroganti Cuwc Fenech li inti m'ghandekx x'hin x'tahli.Hlewna sena fil parlament fejn ma ddihedx l-ebda vot, m'ghaddietx l-ebda ligi u hadu vaganzi minghand LG iktar mili hadet tifla tieghi li tattendi primarja u xejn qisu m'huwa xejn!!! Issa smajna li mil brazil ghal olanda!!!Dan mhux xi tour imma sfortunatament kumpanija ohra fantasma aktarx li kellha tigi malta taht GONZI PN!!!Investiga sur Saviour Balzan ghax inti il-veru gurnalista fuq kulhadd mhux il-kugin ta Wistin Pipi Gatt
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Luke Camilleri
Nothing says "Anti Climax" more than Dr Franco Debono! He has become THE joke with the anti-claimax ending! He has really burned out!
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Very hilarious.. Debono describes himself as a gantleman. He needs to google the word, instead of wasting his time reading the comments on his blog and lapping up the ones that praise him without realising that they are posted by people who want to take the mickey out of him, while deleting those that he doesn't like and posting other comments that shower praises on him using other names. He is hitting back at Tonio Fenech oblivious to the fact that a win by Simon is what is needed for the PN. But that again, he can't be acting in an intelligent way all the time, can he? He thinks only about himself,while dreading the day that he would be forced to vote against the Budget, thereby rendering himself as the culprit if PN lose the election. Poor man so confused.
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Franco Debono, stop talking and be ready to do the walking. We heard this kind of rhetoric from you before and at the final moment you abstained and Austin Gatt is still acting as King of the Road. I also think that one way or the other this country demands a new General Election and you might be the one to make it possible sooner than later.