‘Opportunity, equality and innovation’ key to making Malta a global model - Muscat

Government’s vision is to transform Malta into a ‘global model,’ Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says.

Insisting that his administration was ready to do business with everyone, Muscat delivered a thundering speech to Labour delegates, in which he outlined the party's reformist and global vocation.

"This is the only way forward. This is the only road which will make Malta: Maltese, European and Global," Muscat said as the party's general conference drew to an end.

"Malta is open for business, from everywhere, everywhere. We are ready to work with whoever is ready to cooperate."

The key question, Muscat said was "what kind of country do we want our children to live in?" as he explained that the country was facing a number of challenges, alongside the rest of Europe, in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

"We are creating a country which stands its ground and a country which does feel inferior to others. This is the generation of ambition, which should no longer view ambition negatively but live out its aspirations to become better."

"We want this country to become the land of innovation which encourages creativity, enterprise and determination," Muscat said as he said that Malta should shed its colonial mentality and be prepared to take "calculated risks."

Describing the controversial citizenship scheme as an "innovative programme" Muscat said that the one billion euros in funds would be the beginning of a new prosperity which will belong to us all.

"This is our positive attitude, our vision for the country's future. This is the country I want my children to live in. I, together with all of you here, have the courage to become the best in Europe," he said as he was given a standing ovation by the hundreds of delegates gathered in the Labour headquarters in Hamrun.

Standing in front of a number of young persons and party officials, reminiscent of party's flawless 2013 electoral campaign, Muscat said that the people should be proud of its successes and push the boundaries in creating new wealth.

"Our children are our only resources and we must push our frontiers beyond Europe. We must feel part of what is happening in Asia, the Americas and Africa. There is no alternative to the global vision," he said, adding that Malta and Europe were not big enough for future generations.

Explaining that globalisation had made the world smaller, Muscat said that in a matter of years, technology had revolutionised the world and "only by embracing these changes can we strengthen our identity."

"We must remain relevant and this can only happen if we are bold enough to look outwards and not inwards," Muscat said, adding that Malta never feared change.

Insisting that his government was committed in making Malta "a global model," Musact said that he aimed at making the country "big enough for our children's ambitions."

"We want to turn this into the land of opportunity," Muscat added, as he said that this could only happen if the middle class grows, if the country attracts investment.

While noting that the Labour movement was not envious of wealth and inherently pro-business, the Labour leader reiterated his commitment to reducing bureaucracy and make Malta an "automatic" option for foreign investors.

Demarcating the difference between the Labour Party and the Nationalist opposition, Muscat said that his party was open to the world and ready to face challenges "with our heads up."

Equality is essential in making Malta a global model, Muscat said, stressing that social justice was the key to have a just distribution of wealth, the best education possible, first-rate health services, an efficient and fair justice system and "reduce poverty" especially among children.

An optimist Muscat said that the social reforms which his government was implementing, including the civil union bill, will remove inequalities and prejudices.

Hinting at a possible change in the drug laws, possibly opening up the road to decriminalisation, Muscat said that the state should "help and not punish whoever committed a crime for the first time, be reasonable and not come down with an iron fist. Let's be courageous."

Dr Muscat before you open Malta to all kinds of business you must overhaul some of our archaic and sometimes barbaric laws which in this day and age are totally obsolete. I will name one of those archaic laws that affect me.. How come I cannot evict my tenant or raise their rent because of an old archaic law while modern landlords can evict their tenants anytime they need to? My lease for this tenant was set by the MLP in 1974 and the rent was then decided by the same government. As you well know there are approximately 3500 properties like mine, which were requisitioned by Dom Mintoff in 1974 and we are still paying the price for that injustice.
We would really like to understand the social and business actions that will be planned to turn this vision to our future reality, before we engage in further obesity, depression and poverty.
The key question, Muscat said was "what kind of country do we want our children to live in?" MIMLIJA BIC CINIZI LI HA GGIB HAWN MALTA!!! .... ghax sissa hlief cinizi biex jistudjaw il mina bejn Malta u Ghawdex, u cinizi fl Enemalta u cinizi jixtru il passaporti ma smajniex!!