Updated | Media reports confirm Busuttil’s ‘political falsehood’, Muscat says

Prime Minister urges electorate to judge the government on promises delivered in its first mandate, says that the Nationalist opposition was splintered and could not be expected to do any better with the country • PN says Labour Party is breaching party financing laws

Joseph Muscat said the government had delivered on major promises
Joseph Muscat said the government had delivered on major promises

News articles reporting that the Nationalist Part’s media company had invoiced a subsidiary of DB Group that provided bread rolls to airlines was proof of how ‘politically false’ the opposition leader was, prime minister Joseph Muscat insisted on Sunday.

In a phone-in on One Radio, Muscat said that he had never seen any tv advert for a company providing bread rolls to airlines, and that it was therefore no surprise that Simon Busuttil was refusing to publish the invoice for what he had said were commercial services rendered to DB Group.

MaltaToday reported today the financial transactions under investigation by the Electoral Commission will be centred around invoices issued by the PN’s media to Sky Gourmet, a subsidiary of db Group owned by Silvio Debono. The company does not normally take out television advertising.

The prime minister said the government was coming to the end of its first mandate and he urged the public to judge the government on what the Labour Party had promised and what promises it had fulfilled.

“The Maltese electorate is not used to having a government deliver on its electoral manifesto, as we did on free childcare and energy and water tariffs reductions,” he said. “The government had also managed to shut down the Marsa power station and introduced a scheme whereby first-time home buyers benefited from tax rebates on the first €5,000 of the property value.”

The option was a splintered opposition, and a party that cannot hold itself together, could not be expected to do any better with the country, Muscat said.

PN reaction

In a reaction, the Nationalist Party refuted claims that it devised a method to circumvent party financing laws, arguing that whereas it had disclosed details of donations it received to the Electoral Commission, the Labour Party was breaching party financing laws. 

“The Labour Party is the only party which is yet to register as a political party according to law; it has refused to disclose details of the donations it received; and used the Girgenti Palace to host partisan events. In addition, Labour Party officials and media presenters are on government payroll,” it said.

“On the other hand, the PN is so transparent that it disclosed details of the donations it received to the Elecotral Commission, and also disclosed details of the donations the party received from companies involving Silvio Debono as well as details of the companies’ commercial relationships with [PN’s media arm] Media.link Communications,” it said.

“The only credibility which has gone down the drain is that of Joseph Muscat as he is leading the most corrupt government in Malta’s history,” it said. 

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