Muscat likens Busuttil’s Egrant conviction to flat-earth beliefs

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat reiterates his willingness to publish full Egrant inquiry report, says Busuttil only believes inquiry outcomes if they suit him

Joseph Muscat likened Simon Busuttil's persistance in asserting that he owned Egrant to believing in a Flat Earth
Joseph Muscat likened Simon Busuttil's persistance in asserting that he owned Egrant to believing in a Flat Earth

Simon Busuttil appears to have lost the plot, the Prime Minister said, comparing the former Opposition leader’s persistence in asserting that Egrant belongs to Joseph Muscat to the belief that the Earth is flat.

Addressing party faithful during an event at the Labour Party Club in Qala, Gozo, Sunday morning, Muscat said he was sure that the majority of Maltese people loved their country, but there were a minority who were working against it.

“These people might sometimes frustrate us, as happened to me this week,” he said, in reference to a fracas which emerged in Parliament over Busuttil’s Egrant ownership statements.

“Busuttil said he believes Egrant is mine. He can believe what he wants. Some people in the world adore goats, and they have every right to. Others still think the world is flat, and that you can fall off it if you go past the edge. And a few people still believe Elvis is still alive,” Muscat said.

“Busuttil has a right to think what he wants, but the rest of society laughs at such beliefs”, he continued.

He reiterated that he wanted to publish the full Egrant inquiry as soon as possible, although every piece of advice given to him warned him to be cautious, since the document could contain private information on individuals.

The first of the several inquiries started by Busuttil had clearly shown that the documents the Egrant ownership allegations were based on contained falsified signatures, he said, yet the former Opposition leader persisted in his contentions and only believed inquiry outcomes if they suited him.

Calling Busuttil “irresponsible”, he thanked Opposition MPs who had publicly said they did not agree with his stance on Egrant.

Passing on to the allegations made by La Repubblica - that Chris Cardona had been at a bachelor party with one of the men accused of killing Daphne Caruana Galizia - he said it had today been revealed in The Malta Independent that it was not factual that Cardona had been called by a man involved in fuel smuggling from Libya, after that person had called the murdered journalist.

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“A Maltese newspaper which is not friendly with the Labour Party has reported that what La Repubblica said was incorrect,” Muscat noted.

Regarding a story in today's MaltaToday, where an aide to David Casa revealed the Nationalist MEP’s drug problem, Muscat said that while he had compassion for people suffering from such substance abuse issues, it would be better if the Nationalist Party focused on its own matters instead of trying to undermine the country’s institutions.

Mental health hospital part of Mater Dei to break stigma

Turning to the health sector, Muscat reaffirmed that a mental health hospital would be being built on the ground of Mater Dei Hospital, following international guidelines which set out that, to break the stigma, a mental health facility should not be cut off from the main hospital.

“Patients will enter the hospital from the main entrance, just as they would if they were seeking any other type of treatment,” he said.

“The Health Minister said Mount Carmel Hospital dates back to the time of Charles Dickens. There is a big infrastructural problem there,” Muscat emphasised, “We would like to close the hospital down, but we have been advised that there are many patients in the hospital who have virtually spent their life there, and it would be traumatic to disrupt their routine.”

An investment of €30 million is going to be pumped in to Mount Carmel to completely refurbish the hospital, he said.  “Previous administrations did nothing to improve the situation, and we also have to carry our portion of the blame for not doing enough.”

When it comes to Mater Dei, the government has announced plans to expand it and add 300 beds over the coming years, he said.

Gozo General Hospital is not being forgotten, he remarked, stressing that it would be enjoying the same medical innovations as the hospital in Malta.

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