‘Without guarantee, Joseph Muscat would have had to resign’ – Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says Malta will feel the consequence of Muscat’s irresponsibility for the next 20 years

Opposition leader has insisted that the only reason behind the government’s €360 million guarantee is to save Joseph Muscat’s skin, as without the power station, the prime minister would have to resign.

Speaking on Radio 101 this morning, the Nationalist Party leader explained that it was “unprecedented, and irresponsible” for the government to guarantee a bank loan for a private business.

“It is irresponsible for the taxpayer to be burdened by a €360 million loan … if this happened with all private business, there would be no private businesses,” he said.

“The element of private investment has been eradicated, the people are shouldering the burden and the private sector is reaping the profits … the Maltese taxpayer is being roped in as each family is being burdened with €2,500 each,” he said.

The Opposition leader also questioned the need for Malta to build a new power station, as utility bills have already been reduced.

 “Thanks to the BWSC plant, the interconnector, as well as low oil prices, Malta’s utility bills have been reduced. I ask, why will a new power station be built? There is only reason, if the power station is not built, then Joseph Muscat would have to resign.”

“The guarantee was made for one reason only as without it, the banks would not have issued the loan to ElectroGas. Without it, the project would have fallen through,” Busuttil insisted.

“This is only being done so Joseph Muscat can save his own skin,” he said while demanding that the government sheds more light on the deal.

The Opposition leader also said that the bank guarantee was discriminatory on other businesses. “Whereas other private businesses are being constantly hassled and harried by banks, ElectoGas is reaping the fruits of a state guarantee.”

Busuttil also said that the Maltese would feel the consequence of the government’s “irresponsibility” for the next 18 to 20 years.

“The consequences of the irresponsible decisions taken by the Prime Minister today will have to be shouldered by Malta for a long time … The Opposition would continue to work for Malta’s national interest and insist that the government changes its decision,” Busuttil said.

The Opposition leader also blasted the prime minister from backing down, and for justifying the government’s shortcomings by blaming the previous administration’s misgivings. “The prime minister remains weak when faced with corruption. This government is more corrupt than the one during the Mintoff and Lorry Sant heydays,” he continued.

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