Prime Minister: Respect institutions always, even when you don't agree with them

Joseph Muscat emphasises importance of respecting police and institutions, highlights government’s implementation of its programme

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said that the police and the country’s institutions have to be respected, even at times when people might not agree with them, since they “form the basis of democracy.”

In a telephone interview on ONE Radio this morning, Muscat said he was joining the Malta Police Force in thanking the Maltese people for joining in a solidarity march in Valletta on Saturday, to show support to the corps after constable Simon Schembri was nearby killed in a hit-and-run involving a 17-year-old driver.

He remarked that the government had put into effect changes to help the police force, including legal changes making it possible for the surviving spouses of a police officers who died doing their duties, to receive a service pensions even if those officers had not yet completed 25 years of service.

Government focusing on programme implementation

“During the first year of its second term, the government is demonstrating an increased vigour to implement its programme,” Muscat said.

“For instance, we have introduced same-sex marriage, and for the third-time running, Malta has ranked first when it comes to LGBTI rights,” he said.

He pointed out that the government had embarked on a large-scale €700 million project to re-surface all the island’s roads, over a seven-year period. “People can already see what is being done around Malta to improve the traffic situation.”

Further regulation of the construction industry was also on the agenda, he underscored, noting that while a Buildings Regulations Office was already in place, there was the need for a institution which could regulate the sector more strongly.

Turning to comments by hoteliers, on Friday, that Malta was not keeping up with the influx of tourists, Muscat said it was now important to look at sustainability.

“But this also shows the extent to which things have improved from a few years back, when people would complain about the lack of employment. Now there are too many jobs.”

Muscat also said businesses were now being offered tax credits if they reduced their energy consumption, and that students reading for a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. were receiving tax exemptions, in an effort to incentivise people to train themselves further.