Adrian Delia reminisces on the PN's better times in government

In the mass meeting concluding the Nationalist Party's Independence Day celebrations, Adrian Delia praised previous PN successes and criticised the government for lacking a long-term plan

Adrian Delia addressing his second mass meeting since becoming leader last year. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Adrian Delia addressing his second mass meeting since becoming leader last year. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Opposition leader Adrian Delia tried to revive the spark in Nationalist Party supporters by recalling past successes as he drew the party’s Independence Day celebrations to close on Thursday.

Delia was addressing a mass meeting on the Granaries in Floriana, his second since becoming leader last year.

He told the considerable crowd, which was still small for mass meeting standards, that he wanted to remind them about a time before Joseph Muscat’s government.

He thanked Gorg Borg Olivier for the 54th anniversary of Malta’s independence and went on to highlight the many PN successes since that historic moment.

“Industrial estates, the first hotels, factories, the foundations of a nation, tourism, the pharmaceutical industry, insurance, all fruits of PN governments,” he said.

(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Taking a dig at the government’s tax refund scheme that has benefitted some 200,000 workers, he insisted the PN investments were not intended to get votes. “These were not a small cheque but investments made because they were the nation’s by right.”

Delia said that a day after independence, the first stone for a university building was laid down. “This was a measure of trust towards the people, their future, their abilities.”

He also asked his audience to recall what the health sector was like. “Free, quality healthcare. The PN built a general hospital in Gozo, a state-of-the-art hospital at Ta’ Qroqq.” Delia squeezed in a stab at government between these praises, referring to the sale of three State hospitals to American company, Steward Healthcare.

He accused the government of selling the hospitals to someone who nobody knew. “Someone who took off with our money,” he charged.

Delia quoted the PN’s investments over the years, a total of €2.5 billion, he said. “The new City Gate, a new parliament building, our EU ascension, a free market, all the PN’s doing.” He also mentioned the new terminal for cruise liners under Eddie Fenech Adami’s term as prime minister, and praised Lawrence Gonzi for establishing Malta as the centre for economic success.

“These are the fruits of PN hard work, the PN vision,” he said, lamenting that very often these successes for granted, despite them earning Malta the respect of much bigger countries.

“We forget where these triumphs came from, so there is a risk that we do not protect them as we should.”

Delia argued that, in contrast, the current government did not, in the last five years, make one single capital investment and that instead even basic and fundamental rights were being threatened.

He again brought up the topic of immigration, pointing out that Malta is the smallest territory in the EU with the largest population density.

He criticised the Prime Minister for being hypocritical on the issue, adopting a pushback policy in 2013 and now doing the complete opposite.

“He’s saying he wants 10,000 or 15,000 new individuals coming to this country every year. Does he want a pushback or does he want to open the doors wide open for everyone without considering our nation’s security?”

Delia reiterated the charge made earlier this week that it is not safe to walk the streets under Labour and urged people to “walk the streets with us”.

Delia reminisced about an earlier time when Malta was a safer country, when children had a guarantee of shelter in their future. “Our children can’t pay for their own homes, can’t rent anymore.”

He said that the government is destroying what other governments built, “even socialist ones”.

The Opposition leader concluded by making mention of the children and youths of society. He said that many of the young students have failed their exams this year. “This means that opportunities are lost and lives ruined.”

Though Delia mentioned the government’s irresponsibility when it came to the environment, insisting that Malta is the fourth worst when it comes to air quality in the EU, he did not make reference to the db project approval by the Planning Authority, earlier today.

“Joseph Muscat said he only wanted to spend 10 years in government but I pledge to spend all my energies to this country. Not just for today, not for tomorrow, not just for 10 years but for the long-term future.”

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe