De Marco: Country at crossroads because of dark shadow cast over its institutions

Nationalist Party deputy leader Mario de Marco says Egrant week is culmination of four years of corruption, the seeds of which were sowed by Joseph Muscat

De Marco called on the Prime Minister to take the only honourable path left, and resign
De Marco called on the Prime Minister to take the only honourable path left, and resign

The country’s institutions are not functioning the way they should be and events were unfolding in an illogical manner as a result, Nationalist Party deputy leader Mario De Marco said this morning.

Speaking a political activity in Siggiewi, De Marco said Malta’s reputation was key to its success, and that this success would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work of the country’s workers. However, he warned that the week’s events, and the failure of the country’s institutions, were now putting this reputation at risk.

“This is not the workers’ fault,” he said. “The country is at a crossroads because of the dark shadow that has been cast over the country’s institutions.”

He said the past week was the culmination of four years of corruption, adding that today, the country was picking the fruit of seeds sowed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat four years ago. The fruit, he said, was institutions that only work when ordered to by Muscat.

De Marco congratulated party leader Simon Busuttil on his performance during last Friday’s Xarabank debate with the Prime Minister, and stressed that anyone with a brain could tell that “these are very serious times” for the country.

Referring to a comment by Muscat during the debate, where he said that Busuttil and himself had the worst relationship between two party leaders that the country has ever seen, De Marco said the problem was not the relationship between the two leaders or indeed the two parties.

“The problem is between Muscat and the truth, the problem is between Muscat and what is right,” said De Marco.

He said that while everyone is human and can make mistakes, when a person keeps repeating a mistake, then it can no longer be considered as such.

“That the police did not investigate Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri when there was an FIAU report on the Panama Papers was not a mistake,” he said, adding that the resignations of police commissioners and the director of the FIAU, as well as the police’s late response to this week’s allegations could in no way be considered mistakes.

He said that a Prime Minister under investigation cannot hope to run the country and oversee its institutions, and that the only honourable path left for the Prime Minister was the resign immediately.

“Nobody has the right to play with the reputation of the country to try and protect his own reputation,” he continued.

De Marco said the Prime Minister would soon be calling an election “in an attempt to erase the past four years” and appealed to the nation to come together and prevent Muscat from being elected to a second term in office.

PN leader Simon Busuttil, who will be addressing a protest in Valletta later on today, said the country is currently going through a constitutional crisis, “the likes of which have never been seen in Malta”.

“For the first time in our country, the Prime Minister in our country, the most important role at the centre of power, is under investigation,” said Busuttil.

He said that this fact in and of itself creates a political and constitutional crisis, and that this was evident by the media’s reaction to the week’s events.

Busuttil said both the Labour Party paper Kullhadd and the PN’s publication il-Mument had both published front page stories with the headline “Game Over”, adding however that it would ultimately be the people who decide whose time is up.

Turning to footage filmed by NET news this week, showing the owner of Pilatus Bank leaving the bank’s offices carrying two suitcases, Busuttil said that the suspicions raised by the footage could not be denied by anyone.

“They were caught leaving the bank with bags a few hours after the revelations were made,” he stressed.

Busuttil too appealed for the country to be united and for all “good-willed” people to join a movement that was prepared to set aside political differences to do what was right for the country.

“Let us together share this responsibility we have to bring the country out of the alley it has been dragged into,” said Busuttil. 

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