Muscat pledges corruption clampdown in his New Year’s message

Prime Minister says government will this year expose 'webs of corruption' within government institutions that 'have been allowed to grow for years on end' 

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle greet the public at Castille on New Year's Eve
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle greet the public at Castille on New Year's Eve
Messaġġ mill-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat għas-Sena l-Ġdida 2016

Messaġġ mill-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat għas-Sena l-Ġdida 2016

Posted by Joseph Muscat on Thursday, 31 December 2015

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledged to expose and clean up the “webs of corruption” within government institutions, in his new year’s message to the nation.

"Some of these webs have been allowed to grow within government institutions for years on end," he said in his video speech. “This government will improve the procedure through which visas and residence permits are issued, and carry out reforms at the Lands Department – whose role should be to protect the limited land in this country.”

The two government institutions were mired in controversy in 2015 – the Lands Department over the expropriation of half a Valletta palazzo from Mark Gaffarena and Identity Malta over a racket in the issuance of residence permits to Libyan nationals.

In his speech, Muscat heralded in 2016 as a year in which his government will reach out to sectors of society that it has so far failed to please.

“We will take care of you and be closer to you than ever before,” he said.

Muscat also said that 2016 will be a crucial year for Air Malta, in which “strategic investment” will transform it from a loss-making company into a national airline that the country can be proud of.

Moreover, he said that the LNG power station project in Delimara will be completed this year. Work will also commence on the maritime hub in Marsa, the €200 million investment in three hospitals, and the ‘American University of Malta’ project.

Even though the controversial project will take up 18,000 square metres of land outside development zones at Zonqor, Muscat hailed the AUM as “the greatest sustainable investment that the south of Malta has ever seen”.

Moreover, he said that the environment will be safeguarded through the MEPA demerger that will establish a separate government authority that will focus specifically on the environment.

More in National