Muscat says Malta can never be affiliated with terror

Referring to the New Zealand attacker Brenton Tarrant’s reference to Malta on his automatic weapons, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that Malta’s history was not a history of terror and persecution

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the terrorist attack in New Zealand on Friday could not be equated with Maltese history.

“This is a cowardly terrorist act—a white Christian man enters a Mosque and kills 49 men, women, and children. He referenced Malta twice on his weapons. Whoever thinks that Maltese history is affiliated with terror and persecution is tremendously mistaken,” Muscat said.

He added that the 1565 Great Siege, pencilled on Tarrant’s automatic weapons, was a situation where Malta was defending itself. “Our country has always been a symbol of peace, equality and a generous and welcoming people,” he said, offering condolences to the people of New Zealand on behalf of the Maltese nation.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a political event in Siggiewi on Sunday.

Muscat commended Malta’s performance at the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games where Malta won five gold medals and three bronze medals.

He said that now that the island had made a big break in terms of the economy, it was now time to improve the quality of life. Sport was a big part of that, he argued, saying that the government was ready to double its budget on sport when faced with true commitment.

“Malta’s performance at the Special Olympics is a testament to our commitment to integration,” he said, adding that the government was working on improving the quality of life of disabled people.

“We are going to increase the allowance for disabled persons. If a disabled person genuinely cannot work, the allowance needs to be equivalent at least to the minimum wage,” Muscat said, adding that the government was able to do this thanks to the booming economy.

“The base of good governance is the economy, the economy, the economy. It’s because of wealth that we can do justice.

“International credit agencies are praising the Maltese authorities while the Nationalist Party keeps blabbering about corruption. These ratings matter because Malta is able to pay less interest, and that surplus is spent on roads, schools, medicine.”

He reiterated that the Opposition was not credible and that it needed to “get its act together.”

Muscat said that the government had been inviting pensioners to invest in the government bond schemes with a limit of €10,000 per pensioner.

“A total of €100 million was invested,” Muscat announced. “This translates to an increase of €125 per month to every pensioner. It also means that these people are trusting the government with their money.”

Muscat added that the government had extended this invitation to pensioners not because it required the money but because it was yet another opportunity to pensioners to capitalise on a strong, surplus economy.

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