Joseph Muscat: Business, jobs in Malta set for further growth

MEP delegation had made its mind up on Malta before it had even come here, Muscat maintained

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addresses audience at Mellieha Labour Party club
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addresses audience at Mellieha Labour Party club

The Maltese economy never had so many jobs available, businesses never enjoyed so much business, and the unemployment rate is now second lowest in the European Union, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today.

Speaking at the Mellieha Labour Party club this morning, the Prime Minister said that the delegation of MEPs from the EU's Panama Committee who had come to Malta this week had first passed its judgement, and later came to Malta to check on how the rule of law was doing, with its mind having been already made up.

Muscat said that he felt satisfaction that despite that fact that Malta had no resources except its people, it still managed to achieve a lower unemployment rate than Germany, the biggest country in Europe. 

"All manner of businesses in Malta say that they have never had as much business as they do now, and my response is to get ready, as their business will continue to increase," he said, to loud cheers in the packed club.

"Every month, EU countries gauge businesses to see how they are doing in terms of sales, and they ask consumers if they have money to spend. Month after month, the answers given by the Maltese are positive," he added.

This positivity brought jealousy with it, he maintained, as he appealed to opposition leader Adrian Delia to realise that if he operated in the same way as his predecessor, he would end up with the same outcome. Malta's good economic results came as a result of five years of hard work, despite the Nationalist Party trying to hold the government back, he said.

"Delia can either choose a positive path, or not. It seems that he is being forced to say certain things, and is saying them half-heartedly. He has a choice and can change the road he is on," Muscat claimed, as he remarked that it was ironic that we were in a situation in which he almost had to stand up for the opposition leader. 

This testifies to the sorry state of the opposition, he claimed.

Other EU countries were also envious of Malta, wondering how it managed to create so much work, he maintained.

There was no magic recipe for this, Muscat said, and the government was merely working every day as if there were no tomorrow, and always kept making important decisions.

"Some people tell me that the difference between this administration and the previous one is that, usually, governments take decisions only at the start of their term, but are later wary of doing so. This causes stagnation. This administration keeps making decisions throughout," he claimed.

Muscat highlighted that the government was spending more than ever before, and most of this was on infrastructure. Despite this, the country was still earning more money than we ever, and yet the government's involvement in the economy was not growing, he said.

The Prime Minister also mentioned some of the government's economic and social achievements, saying that there was now double the number of disabled people in employment than before. The government's imperative was to create employment opportunities for everyone who wanted to work.

He also said that this week's Air Malta collective agreement had been a big step towards the revamping process of the airline, as he emphasised that the government's plan was to make the national carrier bigger and add more routes.

Unions had to put this message across to Air Malta workers, he said.

Muscat also said, in reference to the Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act, the drug laws reformation had this week bore fruit, when a reformed ex-drug addict was spared a prison sentence.

"I will never stop believing in Malta's people," the Prime Minister said, concluding to boisterous applause.

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