‘Muscat’s words mean nothing’ – Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says proposed law on Standards in Public Life is a reaction to the series of scandals plaguing the country

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has insisted that a proposed law on Standards in Public Life has become necessary because Malta had become embroiled in a series of scandals that had tarnished the country’s reputation.

Speaking on Radio 101 this morning, the Opposition leader insisted that had the government not been involved in a series of scandals – particularly those involving former energy minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri – there would be no need for this law.

“This is a law pushed by the PN after just six months in Opposition. Now after three years, this law is needed more than before as the government is more focused on the scandals it has created rather than governing the country.”

“Had the government behaved appropriately, this law would not have been needed, but reality is that this is a reaction to the series of scandals that have plagued the government,” he said.

Lambasting the government for betraying its transparency pledge, Busuttil insisted that the sale of Air Malta to Alitalia and the partial privatisation of Enemalta meant that the prime minister’s word no longer meant anything as had promised that he would not sell them.

Busuttil explained that by selling 49% of its shares to Alitalia, the government is increasing the risk of relinquishing control of the national airline’s management and direction.

Moreover, the Opposition leader said the government’s issues with corruption failed to address people’s concerns, giving force to rising levels of social injustice and inequality.

“There’s no point boasting about the strength of the economy if the number of families in poverty are increasing,” Busuttil said.

The PN leader also expressed his sadness at the terrorist attack in Nice and the attempted coup in Turkey.

“We need to remember we are part of this world, we are not isolated, and we need to keep updated as to what is going on in this world. What happened in France is a tragedy.”

“Thousands of Maltese visit the city on a yearly basis. God knows how many Maltese have walked across the promenade where the terrorist ploughed through using a truck. This was a tragedy of epic proportions”, he added.

“The fight against terrorism is extremely difficult, we are in a situation where a lone wolf identifying with terrorist sentiments act appeared to be acting alone.”

Turning his attention on the failed military coup attempt in Turkey, Busuttil said that Erdogan’s authority strengthening is raising a number of questions – primarily as to how democracy functions to date.

Busuttil also slammed a “disgraceful” government for not publishing the contracts signed for the Karin Grech Hospital, Gozo General Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital.

The PN leader pulled no punches in denouncing OPM aide Glenn Bedingfield, arguing that the former Labour MEP was being paid by taxpayer’s money to attack the critics of the government. 

Busuttil also said that the PN “meant business” on women’s rights, arguing that the government had betrayed its feminist policies and as a result Malta had fallen down in the international rankings of equality.

He said the gender-wage gap in the private sector needs to be addressed immediately and that public boards should have a 50-50 composition, as well as ensuring that women suffering from domestic violence – such as murder victim Eleonora Mangion Walker – received the necessary help.

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