Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia rebukes Simon Busuttil on trapping statement

Adrian Delia is insisting the Nationalist Party’s stand on trapping is unequivocal as he chides Simon Busuttil for tweeting about the European Court of Justice ruling without first consulting the party

No happy faces: Adrian Delia has rebuked his predecessor for jumping the gun in his reaction on the trapping judgment by the ECJ
No happy faces: Adrian Delia has rebuked his predecessor for jumping the gun in his reaction on the trapping judgment by the ECJ

A tweet by former Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil on Thursday morning regarding the European Court of Justice’s ruling on trapping in Malta has left Adrian Delia hot under the collar.

In his first tweet, just after the court ruling against trapping in Malta was published, Busuttil expressed vindication, claiming the PN had lost votes for telling trappers the truth and accused the Prime Minister of buying their votes.

Simon Busuttil's first tweet sounding vindicated by the ECJ judgment
Simon Busuttil's first tweet sounding vindicated by the ECJ judgment
PN environment spokesperson Jason Azzopardi repeating Busuttil's first statement
PN environment spokesperson Jason Azzopardi repeating Busuttil's first statement

The tweet was shared by Opposition Environment spokesperson Jason Azzopardi, who also repeated the same message on Facebook.

But now it transpires that Busuttil’s tweet did not go down well at PN headquarters where the party was still formulating its stand on the ruling, which has left thousands of trappers reeling.

Contacted by MaltaToday, the PN leader said his predecessor tweeted without consulting the party.

“He [Busuttil] should have first understood what the party stand is before tweeting as he did,” Delia said as he rebuked the former Opposition leader.

He insisted that the party stand was clear, irrespective of what position was tweeted or communicated by any PN MEP or MP. 

In its official statement released on Thursday afternoon, signed off by Azzopardi and Rural Affairs spokesperson Edwin Vassallo, the PN appealed for “serious dialogue” with the European Commission to be able to find a way of applying a derogation to EU rules that was sustainable.

Simon Busuttil's second tweet mooting a possible solution for trappers
Simon Busuttil's second tweet mooting a possible solution for trappers

In the aftermath of the party statement, Busuttil appears to have shifted his position and in a second tweet on the subject mooted the possibility that a derogation for finch trapping was possible within the strict parameters laid out in the judgment.

Delia told MaltaToday it was not the PN’s job to issue “blanket statements against any part of the population”.

He said the court decision has had a negative impact on a section of the Maltese population and urged for a sustainable solution to be found.

Adrian Delia's tweet calling out government's opportunism and urging for a solution
Adrian Delia's tweet calling out government's opportunism and urging for a solution

“It is useless blaming trappers… this is a case against Malta and we should be discussing ways in which trapping can continue in a sustainable manner and within the parameters of the law,” Delia said.

In its statement the PN said that thousands of trappers would not be able to practice their hobby because of bad decisions taken by the government.

It said that despite its promises, the government had not satisfied the conditions for a derogation from the Birds Directive.

READ ALSO: Trapping season should never be opened again – Birdlife

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