Busuttil ‘stunned’ by Muscat’s refusal to expand Freeport

Opposition leader claims government's corruption issues means it is failing to address social concerns 

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil interviewed on Radio 101
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil interviewed on Radio 101

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil has taken Joseph Muscat to task for refusing to expand the Freeport, saying that the Prime Minister's decision had stunned him. 

“The Freeport is a clear example of how Malta – a significant trading post of great strategic importance – should become a strong commercial hub”, Busuttil said during an interview on Radio 101. “However, this government lacks moral leadership and has failed to turn Malta into a centre of logistics and distribution.”

Muscat announced today that he will issue a public call for the development of a logistics hub in Hal Far

The Opposition leader also claimed that the number of families in poverty is increasing, and hit out at Muscat’s “lack of transparency and accountability’ by failing to publish crucial public contracts.

Busuttil said the government’s issues with corruption meant it was failing to address people’s concerns, pointing to rising levels of inequality and social injustice.

Lambasting the government for betraying its transparency pledge, the Nationalist Party leader said it was not surprising that the people’s mood towards the government had changed considerably as Malta had become embroiled in a series of scandals.

Busuttil also said that the Panama Papers revelations had harmed Malta’s reputation, more so since ‘minister without portfolio’ Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri will this week flank Muscat in a trip to Singapore to view the conversion job being carried out on the LNG storage vessel to be used at the new-gas fired power station in Delimara.

He also claimed that Muscat has rejected a proposal by the Opposition to introduce a House of Commons style of Prime Minister’s Questions. The set-up would allow MPs to directly grill the Prime Minister in Parliament for half an hour every week.

“Why is Muscat so scared of answering questions?” Busuttil questioned. 

Report by Andrea Rossitto