Delegates underline their Labour ‘pride’

Final session of Labour general conference sees delegates express their ‘pride’ at belonging to the Labour Party as motion is approved.

Minister Karmenu Vella was among the Labour delegates who expressed his pride at forming part of the Labour Party.
Minister Karmenu Vella was among the Labour delegates who expressed his pride at forming part of the Labour Party.

This morning the Labour Party held the last session in its week-long general conference at party headquarters in Hamrun, with a number of prominent Labour officials expressing their pride at the government's achievements over the last 11 months. The delegates unanimously approved the conference's key motion; 'Malta: Maltese, European,Global.'

The initial stages were dominated by a number of formalities such as the election of executive members and the presentation of reports by the party's sections.

During this morning's session a number of reports were presented by party delegates who led a number of workshops in the past week. These reports covered a number of sectors, including local councils, pensioners, youths and women.

Following the customary procedures, a number of delegates addressed the jam-packed hall at the Labour headquarters on the conference's theme, 'Malta: Maltese, European and Global."

Reminding delegates of her 40 years of activism in the party, family minister Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said she is "profoundly proud of this party," adding that Labour had undergone radical changes over the years and was intent on maintaining the momentum.

"This is our greatness. We are still changing while being on top," the minister said, adding that the government was committed to eradicate inequalities in Malta, especially child poverty and social exclusion which she blamed on the former PN administration's lack of vision.

"Real progress means implementing social justice," Coleiro Preca said. Listing the government's achievements in the last 11 months, the minister could not resist taking a swipe at the "isolated" Nationalist opposition who she said "did not have and still do not have any policies."   

She added that the PN was in oblivion and "cannot believe what we have achieved," stressing that the Labour government had hit the ground running and was set to gain speed in its "sprint" to make Malta more equal and fair.

In a rousing speech, tourism minister Karmenu Vella said that Labour delegates and supporters were set to refer to Labour leader Joseph Muscat as prime minister for many more years.

"We have a lot to boast about and be proud of, while others have a lot to be ashamed of," Vella said, hitting out at the PN leader Simon Busuttil's negativity. He said Busuttil was "annoyed" with citizenship scheme because it would rake in more funds than the debts accumulated by PN governments in 25 years.

"It is untrue that the PN has not changed after the election. They have hit new lows and they are entrapped in a visions cycle of negativity and confusion," Vella said, urging the PN leader to learn from Labour's success which was based on "honesty, loyalty and vision."

On the controversial citizenship scheme, Vella said that the PN had reached its lowest ebb by taking a confused stand and threatening to withdraw citizenships. "Not only has Busuttil lost credibility in Malta, but he has also lost credibility in Europe and abroad."

Describing Busuttil as a "temporary leader," Vella said that Labour would not allow him to damage the country, much to the delegate's acclaim. He went on to mock the PN leader for his "vision" of opening a cafeteria at the PN headquarters which was met with laughter.

Parliamentary secretary for EU funds Ian Borg underlined a number of projects, which the government is undertaking in health, education and energy.

"Let's now look forward and we will make sure that each and every cent is spent to improve University, Mcast, streets and ports, implement environmental projects and research and development programmes which will create more jobs. This is Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's vision and we are behind him to see this vision come to fruition."

Party delegate Alex Saliba summed up the conference by announcing his "pride" at being part of a party in government, which is implementing a series of measures, aimed at encouraging young people to progress in their studies and find employment.

"How can't you feel proud of this party?" Saliba asked as listed the number of measures such as the increase in student stipends, the introduction of free child care for all families and the youth guarantee programme.

MP Deo Debbatista said that in recent months he resisted temptations to become a armchair critic and highlighted the government's success in implementing the Individual Investor Programme.

"We held talks with the opposition on the programme, but I must remind the opposition that the final word belongs to the government because as confirmed in last year's election, the people entrusted this party to govern the country with an overwhelming majority."

He added that the opposition tried to harm the country's reputation and hit out them for taking criticism outside the country's borders. However he insisted that "with the 1 billion euros in funds we will implement what they (the PN) failed to do in 25 years."

Among the hundreds of delegates and guests present for the closing session, were government officials and chief executives and Labour supporters such as Malta Developers Association president Sandro Chetcuti. 

This morning the election of 12 members on the party's National Executive were confirmed following Saturday's election in which 672 of the 796 Labour delegates cast their vote.

The elected members are Frans Agius, Mario Azzopardi, Krista Caruana, Guża Cassar, Monica Farrugia, Nettu Farrugia, Mario Farrugia Borg, Catherine Fenech, Sean Meli, Carlo Mifsud. Emanuel Rocco and Jurgen Zammit.


Ma fhimtx ghala minn mijiet ta nies li attendew ghad diskors ta l-gheluq mill Mexxej, kellek issemmi b'ismu lil Sandro Chetcuti. Qiesu qed igorr xi marda li titiehed. Il-bieb tal partit miftuh ghal kullhadd kif jixhed l-ahhar rizultat elettorali.