Europe not doing enough on migration, Opposition leader insists

PN leader Adrian Delia accused Joseph Muscat of discussing all aspects of migration, except how it impacted local communities

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has insisted that when discussing migration, it was important to deal with local issues, like the tensions that currently exist in Marsa.

Speaking during an interview on Net FM, Delia said that while Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had spent half his own Sunday intervention discussion migration, he failed to avoided addressing the local situation.

“Whatever the Prime Minister says people will keep trying to cross over to Europe from Africa,” he said, adding that deaths in the Mediterranean were inevitable. “Whatever Joseph Muscat says there is going to be a Europe that is not doing enough.”

He said that the Muscat had today changed his tune on migration over the years and that while he had touched upon many aspects, “he did not speak about Marsa”

“The PN will not stop here, we will go to Marsa and we will see was solutions we can come up with so that gardens don’t remain full of people sleeping on the floor and making the place alien to the people of Marsa,” he said.

Malta’s bad reputation attracting money-laundering schemes

Turning to news that US investigators were investigating the role of a Maltese private wealth management firm in laundering up to $1.2 billion dollars, Delia said his appeal was not a partisan one.

He said that while there were many facts surrounding the case, there was an admission by a Swiss banker saying he was laundering money for people in power in Venezuela.

He said that the country was notorious for corruption and that when it needed a banker to look for a way of laundering money, Malta, along with other jurisdictions, had been chosen.

“Had our country’s reputation been good, they would not have come here,” he said “If the reputation is bad they will use Malta, maybe with other countries, and the reputation keeps getting worse.”

Delia asked whether Malta’s handling of the Pilatus Bank case, and other similar cases was attracting more “people like this” to come to Malta. “You must show that you are working in the interests of your country, not your friends.”

He went on to say that the fact that he had now taken responsibility for the country's financial services was effectively a demotion for Finance minister Edward Scicluna, while calling on Muscat to sit down with him to discuss ways in which the country's reputation could be repaired.

PN requests auditor general investigation on direct order

Moving onto a request by the PN for the Auditor General to investigate a €274 million direct order, said that various government officials and departments had contradicted themselves, which is why the PN had decided to ask for an investigation.

“The Nationalist Party wants the Auditor General to determine whether the process followed was the correct one,” he said.

“Our job is not to as the Opposition is not to judge ourselves, but to scrutinise what the government does and to see that things don’t look to have been done well, to request an investigation.”

He said the Opposition has the responsibility to ensure that the people were represented

Government without a plan

On recent amendments to employment laws, which the government was forced to back track on this week, Delia said it was evidence of a government that did not have a plan.

He said it was symptomatic of a government that rushed to implement things and only considered the fallout and collateral damage after.

Delia insisted that while it was good that Malta had its lowest ever level of unemployment but stressed that there were youths who could not afford to have a girlfriend. “This is not an isolated case. Excessive overtime can’t be the only solution for people to get by.”

He said that the country was having to pay the price for the millions wasted in energy, hospitals, and road contracts made entered into behind people’s back. “People are paying the price in fuel, bread, pastizzi, water and electricity bills.”

Delia stressed that the country needed a long-term plan that took into account how the country would many more workers it needed, where they would be accommodated and how the environment could be safeguarded.

The environment, he said, would be an integral part of economic growth under a Nationalist administration.

“The Labour Party wants a concrete jungle on an island in the Mediterranean,” he said. “Our plan is for a Malta with a nicer environment and cleaner air.”

He said that the government’s pledge to spend €700 million on infrastructure would be a huge waste of money since by the time the money was spent, new interventions would be needed.