[WATCH] Clyde Puli warns of threat to Maltese culture as PN launches General Council

Nationalist Party Secretary General Clyde Puli said the party wanted an authentic Malta and not the “disneyfication” of Maltese society

The PN General Council will run from Monday to Sunday with the team 'Wealth for everyone in a society that cares'
The PN General Council will run from Monday to Sunday with the team 'Wealth for everyone in a society that cares'

Nationalist Party Secretary General Clyde Puli said on Saturday that the party did not want to allow the disneyfication of Malta into a society that was no longer authentic.

The PN, he said, wanted Maltese identity to remain at the heart of society, insisting that this was currently being threatened by the government's economic policy. One example was the Maltese language, which he said was threatened both by the widespread use of the internet and the fact that fewer people were using the language to communicate.

"A society without a sense of togetherness can't move forward," he stressed.

Puli was speaking during a press conference launching the party’s General Council which will kick off on Monday where he said that the party had chosen the theme ‘Wealth for everyone in a society that cares’.

He said the council will be focusing on issues to do with Malta’s demography and its reputation, as well as the current economic situation and what it will mean for country’s future. 

During the council, the PN will be launching a document on Malta’s current economic situation, compiled by a group of several economists. Puli said the document would look at future challenges the country would face, how the government’s demographic choices were impacting the country and the economic, social and environmental impacts of the government’s policies.

He accused the government of lacking a plan and of steaming ahead with its policy of increasing personal spending by growing the population. Rather than employing a policy of “smart immigration”, Puli said the government was growing the economy by improting cheap labour.

Another challenge facing the country was the damage being done to its reputation by the government’s reluctance to acknowledge and deal with corruption. He pointed to concerns raised by the European Banking Authority, the rating agency Standards & Poor’s and the OECD as evidence of this.

The latest revelations, linking government officials to a company owned by one of the men behind the new power station, was doing further damage to Malta’s image abroad, Puli said. "These are now facts not allegations."

Turning back to the economy, Puli stressed that measuring GDP was not good enough, stressing that this did not reflect how ordinary citizens were doing. “One person who has done very well will compensate for the many who have not.”

General Council president Kristy Debono said that the theme had been chosen in order for the party to properly discuss the economic reality after five years of a Labour government.

She said that while it was positive that consumption had increased, this had not happened because of an increase in productivity, adding that foreign workers should not be used as a means of keeping employees’ wages down.

Many citizens were struggling to pay rent and were unable to afford a house, with this having repercussions on society as a whole, Debono said.

She noted that clients of Satabank, the bank which had its operations frozen in October over regulatory problems, were now in their second month without being able to access their funds. All this, she said, was reducing Malta’s attractiveness to foreign investors.

The General Council will kick off on Monday running through the whole week until it closes on Sunday.