Busuttil demands clarity over Malta’s ‘secret migrant deal with Italy’

Opposition leader criticises 'salesman' Prime Minister for 'travelling the world to advertise Henley and Partners' citizenship scheme'

PN leader Simon Busuttil greeted by party faithful at La Vallette Square
PN leader Simon Busuttil greeted by party faithful at La Vallette Square

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil called on the government to clarify whether it has reached an agreement with Italy through which the country would take in Malta’s share of asylum seekers in exchange for oil exploration rights in disputed territorial waters off Sicily.

Following reports in the Italian media, the government has already denied the existence of such a deal. However, in his speech at a political activity in La Vallette Square, Valletta as part of the PN’s Independence Day festivities, Busuttil questioned whether the government has truly given up disputed territory.

“If it truly did so, that would mean that it has betrayed the nation,” he said to a roar of applause.

Busuttil mocked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who is currently in Turkey to promote Henley and Partners’ Individual Investment Programme scheme that offers Maltese citizenship at a hefty price.

“How undignified is that of a Prime Minister?” Busuttil asked. “He is travelling the world advertising Henley’s citizenship scheme – acting as a salesman when he should be serving as a statesman.”

He repeated his call on the government to publish its contract with Henley, warning that “the people who hide contracts are those who have something to hide”. 

The PN leader kicked off his speech with a battle-cry, claiming that the “wave” of people switching allegiance from the PL to the PN has already begun and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

Welcoming these new voters into the fold, Busuttil said that they have nothing to be ashamed of for voting Labour in 2013 as they had been deceived by the then Opposition party.  

He also hit out at the government for forcing Nationalist MP Albert Fenech to resign from his cardiologist duties at Mater Dei and at transport minister Joe Mizzi for refusing to answer questions posed by a NET TV journalist at a press conference earlier today.

“He was afraid of answering the journalist’s questions and cannot handle opposition because the truth hurts,” he said, dismissing the “traffic minister” as “one of the most incompetent ministers in Cabinet”.

“In two and a half years, he has failed to find a solution to Malta’s traffic problem,” Busuttil said. “First he had planned to remove horses from the roads, then he wanted to remove trucks from the roads, and now he wants children to wake up at 5am to go to school.”

Warm welcome for radio host David Thake

Busuttil’s speech was preceded by short speeches by 16 of the PN’s recently approved candidates for the 2018 general election on why Malta needs the Nationalist Party.

By far the greatest round of applause was reserved for Radio 101 host and deputy St Paul’s Bay mayor David Thake, who hailed Busuttil as the architect behind the reconstruction of the PN.

“The difference between the two parties is that the PN gives opportunities to the people, while the PL gives opportunities to people within its inner circle of the ilk of Gaffarena,” he said.

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