Not voting will simply 'extend government’s contract with corruption', Delia tells party faithful

The PN leader said that staying home on election day would mean consenting to Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia warned voters that staying home would mean a vote for Joseph Muscat
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia warned voters that staying home would mean a vote for Joseph Muscat

Nationalist Party leader has urged the party’s followers to go out and vote in next May’s European Parliament elections, warning them against playing into the Labour Party’s hands.

“If you think this government is a corrupt government and you don’t vote in the election you are voting for Joseph Muscat,” Delia said. “If you are thinking that it is better to remain home will be giving his consent to [Tourism Minister] Konrad Mizzi.”

Delia was speaking during a political activity in Birkirkara where he said the country needed demand more from the government, including better working conditions and better-paying jobs, social justice and a level playing field in the business sector.  

“We must also fight for liberty,” Delia continued, insisting that this meant having institutions that were free to do their job rather than take orders from the government.

This, he said, also meant a free media that is never silenced.

“We have an obligation to protect the free press. Do not think for second that trying to silence those who do not agree with us will win us any points,” a seemingly conciliatory Delia said.

He said that while some were trying to make it appear that the Nationalist Party wanted to attack the pressure group Occupy Justice, this was not the case.

The criticised the government for clamping down on people who wanted to protest, insisting that the PN, rather than silence critics, gave them the biggest platform from which to do so.

Nationalist Party newspaper il-Mument published a number of stories about the pressure group, including one implying that the group was working with the government on plans to introduce abortion.

Delia also briefly touched upon migration, and the news that some 100 asylum seekers had likely drowned in the Mediterranean this week. He said that while the European Union needed to do more, Malta could not get away with doing the bare minimum.

“While the government brings in 15,000 people every year, it doesn’t do enough to save the lives of those who are most vulnerable,” Delia said.

Since becoming leader, Delia has been criticized for the tone with which he has discussed migration and racial issues, but focused more on the humanitarian aspect of the problem in Sunday’s speech.

Corruption no longer matter of partisan politics

Turning to the latest developments surrounding to concession for the running of three of Malta’s hospitals to private operators, with no experience in the medical sector, Delia said it had been clear to him from the start that the agreement was designed to fail.

“This is worse than corruption,” he said, because then health minister Konrad Mizzi had agreed to give the contract to company he knew could not deliver. “It had one ability: transferring the contract and its shares to others.”

Taxpayer money, he said, was used to purchase a company that had exclusivity over procurement at the three hospitals.

Delia said that the country was now in a situation where it had two governments.

“On the one hand, you have Konrad Mizzi who signed the Technoline contract or who allowed it to be signed, and on the other hand the Deputy Prime Minister who wants to tear up the contract,” Delia said.

“Who will you be siding with Prime Minister…who will you remove the Deputy Prime Minister or will you stop Minister Mizzi from signing more contracts worth millions.”

The latest revelations, he said, showed how one company was placed in a position where it had exclusivity and the ability to overcharge the hospitals for medical supplies and equipment. This came at the expense of ordinary citizens, he said, insisting that when the PN speaks about corruption it not only speaks about those committing corrupt acts, but also about the people who must suffer the consequences.  

“Corruption is no longer a partisan subject but it is a subject that is affecting people every day, especially those most in need,” Delia said. “This is not a fight between the Opposition and the Government but we are carrying out our responsibility as politicians looking out for the country’s interests.” 

Delia said there were a number of government MPs that knew that what was going on was wrong and wanted things to change. “If you are truly representing the electorate’s best interest you also have your political responsibility,” Delia said.  

PN will guarantee roof over everyone’s head

Finally, the Opposition leader turned to the controversial Corinthia deal. He accused the government of wanting to give 30,000 sq.m in one of the nicest parts of the island to one company, without having issued a tender, and at a price that did not reflect its value.  

“The PN was clear and firm and said no to the government,” said Delia arguing that the people’s land could not be simply given away.  

“It isn’t right for a government not to build a single place for people that need housing while at the same time wanting to give 30,000 sq.m to people who want to use it for property speculation.”

A Nationalist government, he said, would be able to guarantee that all Maltese people would have a roof over their heads.

Unlike the government, Delia said the PN would not only base itself on numbers, but rather on the experiences of citizens. Every day people, he said, were concerned with life’s every day challenges, many of which were being exacerbated by the fact that the government’s economic strategy was not seeing wealth trickle down to the most vulnerable.