[WATCH] People will choose between Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia in May - Prime Minister

Joseph Muscat told supporters that he was putting his name behind every MEP and local council candidate in the upcoming elections

Joseph Muscat was speaking during an interview at a party event in Marsa on Monday
Joseph Muscat was speaking during an interview at a party event in Marsa on Monday

May’s elections will see people making the choice between Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia, the Prime Minister has said.

Joseph Muscat said he was putting his name behind all the Labour Party’s European Parliament and local council elections candidates, and that he will be assuming responsibility for presenting them to the people.

Muscat, who was speaking during an interview at a party event in Marsa on Monday evening, said that while the Opposition leader had on Sunday claimed that the European elections weren’t a choice between parties but between MEPs, he had no qualms in saying that people would in fact either be voting for him or for Delia.

“I have no problem in saying that this will be a choice between Joseph Muscat and Adrian Delia. I do so because I have faith in every MEP which the Labour Party has put forward, and am therefore placing my name behind theirs,” Muscat said.

He said that many people had been “hurt” by the way “a part of the Opposition” behaved in recent years, and that this displeasure at the Nationalist Party’s “negative attitude” could only be communicated if they voted for all Labour party candidates in May.

The interview touched on various other subjects, including people’s desire for increased time with their families and for more open spaces, and on migration.

People’s changing priorities

Muscat said that now that the Labour government had created a new middle class, people’s priorities were changing from giving the most importance to the amount of money their jobs yielded, to having more time away from their work to spend with their loves ones.

“People still want to find a good job, but their priorities now don't consist in how much money they will earn, but the flexibility their job will grant them,” he said, “Now that we’ve got the basics in place when it comes to employment, people’s priorities - their hierarchy of needs - are changing. A person might now say that they don’t need a higher salary, but would prefer having more time with their families.”

Muscat also tied the idea of changing priorities to the need for more open spaces in which families could spend time together.

Regarding the government's plans, which he announced yesterday, to create one of the largest open spaces in Malta in a yet unnamed locality, he said that while the area in question could have served many different purposes, the government had decided to turn it into a place where people could partake in activities such as picnics or camping.

This would be done to mirror the shift in people’s priorities towards having more free time and open spaces, he said.

“We’ve decided - at a major opportunity cost - to dedicate this space to open air activities, such as camping and picnics. We saw that people wanted to have more free time and more open spaces, so we will start shifting the balance towards this priority."

Opposition contradicts itself on migration

When it came to the matter of migration, the government was using a common sense approach in dealing with it, Muscat said.

“We’ve made it clear that we cannot be the country to take on the migration burden on our own. We can be part of the solution, but it can’t be us who is the entire solution.”

While he thanked the residents of Marsa and its surroundings for “always behaving with dignity”, and praised them for being kind-hearted and not paying regard to a person’s skin colour, or if someone was foreign or Maltese, he said he could at the same time understand the trouble faced by people in the area due to migration-related issues.

“I can understand the trouble faced by people, such as elderly persons, who felt scared to leave their homes at certain times of day. This is why we’ve requested that the armed forces ensure that the law is upheld in these localities,” he highlighted.

He went on to insist, however, that he refused to join those who tried to instil fear out of that fact that there was a large presence of foreigners on the island, and said the Opposition was being contradictory when it claimed Malta was full of foreigners, but then went on to call for Malta to become a safe port for migrants in the Mediterranean.

“I can’t understand the Opposition. It says that Malta has been flooded with foreigners… This is the kind of discourse which usually comes from rightist parties,” he said, “But on the other hand, the PN issued a manifesto saying that Malta should become a centre for migrants in the Mediterranean.”

Muscat said the government did not agree with this line of reasoning.

“We will do our duty and save those who are in difficulty [at sea], but we can’t then go on to do the work for all of Europe,” he added.