PN committed to granting Gozo regional status - Adrian Delia

The Opposition leader said a Nationalist government would guarantee that a regional status for Gozo is entrenched in the Constitution

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said his party was committed to ensuring Gozo is giving the status of a region
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said his party was committed to ensuring Gozo is giving the status of a region

The Nationalist Party is committed to giving Gozo the status of a region, Adrian Delia said.

The Opposition leader said that a Nationalist government would guarantee granting Malta's sister island this status, and would make it a priority.

"Even from the Opposition, we will push the government to entrench such a status in the Constitution," he said, "The government doesn't want this, but the PN is giving its guarantee that it would make it one of its priorities."

Speaking during a special session of the party's General Council in Mgarr, Gozo on Sunday, Delia reiterated that the government had no vision when it came to energy, health and transport. Neither did it have a plan for Gozo, he said.

Delia read a letter out from the relatives of Michael Tabone, a Rabat, Gozo resident, who had been admitted to the Gozo hospital - which is being run by Steward Health Care - two weeks ago, suffering from an infection. According to the relatives, Tabone didn't receive the appropriate care, the infection spread, and he died, Delia said.

"This is the way the government has reduced the health care sector in Gozo," he emphasised, "This is how Joseph Muscat is treating Gozitans."

"The government sold its hospital, which was well equipped and where the best Maltese doctors gave their services, to people with no experience in the health sector, and allowed them to choose which professionls to employ, in what amounts to a breaking of all the rules".

He said the Steward Health Care deal was "simply a malign contract intended for people to earn millions at the cost of the health of Gozitans".

"The PN will keep insisting that a serious investigation takes place about this case," he said.

Noting that the Prime Minister was also in Gozo today - to address a political event at the Labour club in Rabat - he said that Muscat should have come over to carry out a debate with him (Delia).

"I would have asked him, why did you cast Gozitans aside, why did you forget about them? How many of them need to die before you start safeguarding their health?" he said.

"Does Muscat not care about Gozitans? If during 'the best of times', and with the surplus we have, he hasn't found a single euro to invest in Gozo, when will he carry out such investment?"

Delia went on to touch upon various sectors - such as agriculture, the elderly and education - where he said the government was doing nothing about existing shortcomings.

He said that certain localities in Malta, such as Siggiewi, where experiencing different realities from places such as Gzira and Sliema. "We have been going around [various towns], meeting business owners, employees and the elderly, and we could see how the country is changing... The Maltese identity is being eroded and is finishing, and on the other end you have the cosmopolitan dream of Joseph Muscat."

He said the government had no interest in safeguarding agriculture, because it was not a sector which yielded profits for the economy. "The government cares about numbers, we care about people. The PN's message to farmers is clear: we believe in our country's local produce, we believe in our farmers. Approach us, so we can find a way to save the sector, although there isn't much time. And this matters not only for farmers, but also for the Maltese consumers."

When it comes to the elderly, Muscat has told them that their pensions depend on foreign workers, he highlighted. "He blamed them for living long lives. This is not something funny, it is something to cry about. A society which doesn't respect its elderly is a decaying society."

Regarding education, the government had been a failure in this sector, he said. "There are 120 students, in 12 classes, being taught in containers at the St Paul's Bay school. The government has declared that it has failed in education and that it has no solution."

"Muscat wants to leave [from his position as PL leader], and is not thinking about the country's future, but only about his own. He is a dangerous Prime Minister, because he is still making decisions which can have long-term consequences," Delia said in his closing comments, "But as an Opposition we are working to offer solutions and put forth proposals."

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