Malta's reputation is not just important, it's fundamental - Adrian Delia

Answering questions from youngsters enrolled in the PN Future Leaders Programme at Palazzo Pereira in Valletta, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said that despite Malta's reputation being at stake, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was exhibiting apathy by not sacking Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri

Opposition Leader at Palazzo Pereira in Valletta
Opposition Leader at Palazzo Pereira in Valletta

Adrian Delia lamented the bad reputation that Malta has acquired over the past few years and the inertia displayed by the government. "Malta's reputation is not just important," he said, "it's fundamental."

Following the 17 Black revelations that named Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech as the sole owner of the secret Dubai company, Delia argued that the government's electoral promise on the energy sector, the promise of slashing the price of energy bills, was mired in corruption when the Electrogas investor is revealed to be linked to Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM's Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

"In a civilised nation, revelations like those of Reuters and Times of Malta would be followed by resignations," Delia said. "If the Prime Minister promised he would resign if it's found that Egrant belongs to him then why do Mizzi and Schembri still hold their positions when it's proved that they own companies Hearnville and Tillgate?"

Delia said that Joseph Muscat had spent €1 million of taxpayer money to clear his name, an incredible effort, and yet he is evincing passivity towards the two individuals closest to him.

"Wherever you go and claim that you're from Malta, people ask you what's happening," Delia said. "The reputation is not just damaging the government but the entire country." He mentioned how Pilatus bank's license has been recently revoked to yet another nonchalant response from Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna.

"For 25 years, the PN built a strong reputation that entered the room before we did. Now this government is throwing it all away. Malta is small. We either live isolated and alone or go abroad and do us proud."

Criticisms to government sectors

The Opposition Leader said that Malta is amongst the countries with most students less likely to continue studying. "The way the government is treating our teachers is pitiable. If children are our future, then our teachers are the key to that future."

Delia thanked PN Deputy Leader David Agius for pushing for the Vote 16 policy, allowing 16-year olds to vote. He said that youngsters today are not the future anymore but the present too and that a holistic education would allow them to learn about how to better their country, how to improve Malta. "People being born today might end up building cities on other planets, create technologies that can change the evolution of mankind. Your responsibilities are incredible."

Delia said that technologies today should allow for making use of rubbish to create energy, a promise made by the government but as yet untapped. "For the government, rubbish is a problem. For PN, it's a possibility." He mentioned how Malta is the worst recycler in the European Union, with only 7% of its waste being recycled annually. 

On health, Delia said that the government has the PN to thank for its constant infrastructural investments over the years, which allowed Malta to be take the 9th place in the world in The Lancet international health journal. "The only significant thing this government did on the issue of health is sell the hospital concession to Vitals, a company that we know nothing about, a company that ran off with our money."

Delia said that there were 36,000 people on the waiting list for treatment. "When the Knights were here, Malta was in a position to treat people from all around the world and today we cannot even treat our own people."

On mental health, Delia said that the situation was troubling, that a government proud of a surplus and of impressive financial figures was forgetting the most vulnerable in society since they are irrelevant to the vision of this administration.

"The positive economy is, after all, thanks to PN investments in shipping, aviation, gaming and a variety of other sectors. We brought people here from whom we could learn," Delia said. "But this government sold our citizenship to justify the statistics, he sold every space of land to foreigners. There are 1,500 individuals for every kilometre squared."

He asked the youngsters present: "What would you choose? To be innovative, or to bring more people to tiny Malta?"