Happy Christmas, Joseph! Labour raises thousands in donations in farewell telethon

One TV telethon raised over €200,000 by 6pm as Joseph Muscat shook hands with Labour delegates presenting donations to party

Joseph Muscat and his spouse Michelle being interviewed on One TV during the telethon
Joseph Muscat and his spouse Michelle being interviewed on One TV during the telethon

Labour Party committees paid tribute to the Joseph Muscat premiership and presented over €207,000 in donations for the Labour Party in a telethon organised by One TV.

Muscat was present at the TV telethon with his wife Michelle, soon after having landed on a flight from Brussels, where he attended his final European Council meeting.

As committee presidents and delegates shuffled past the PM and his wife, several paid tribute to Muscat and his record of economic success, and reforms for civil liberties and social justice.

In an interview during the telethon, Muscat stated that he was happy to sacrifice his political career, as long as he knew that a ‘big breakthrough’ was achieved in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder case.

“I think it is better, the way it happened, than being a Prime Minister like those before me who said they knew who killed Karen Grech but never came out in saying the truth,” Muscat said.

The out-going prime minister said that the country is at a point where no one thought it would arrive at, as the alleged killers, middleman and mastermind behind the assassination are all being brought to justice.

'Media was always working against us'

The PM’s wife Michelle Muscat was also present during the interview, stating that she had always pushed her husband to achieve true justice for Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Michelle Muscat also lamented that the media had been constantly working against them.

“The media was always working against us,” she said, “…It does not help us and has always worked against us, trying to spin things in its favour.”

Despite this, Michelle Muscat said that “people know the truth”.

“Would I have wanted my political career to end in a better way? Obviously, but the decisions that needed to be taken, were taken,” Muscat said.

During the interview, Muscat was also asked about leadership nominees Robert Abela and Chris Fearne, stating that he will always be supporting the new Prime Minister, whoever it was.

“The new leader will need space to affirm himself. I had appreciated that a great deal from Alfred Sant, and I want to do the same to the person who comes after me. If the party needs me to not appear at all, I will do that,” Muscat said.

Muscat also said that the Labour party movement doesn’t stop with him, stating that the new leader will continue the project towards more success for the party and the country.

“The journey of this movement will not stop, and if it does, it means that I have failed because the project we are carrying out together is bigger than one individual,” Muscat said.

“Both Chris and Robert have vowed to continue this project and I know they will continue to broaden it and bring achieve even more success than we have achieved till now,” Muscat said.

The interview also delved into Muscat’s reforms during his premiership, with him stating that everything started off from having a strong economy that would be able to nourish the social sector.

Muscat also looked back at his time in opposition, stating that while he has not completely achieved the end to tribal politics in, the country has slowly started moving towards that direction.

“The results we achieved would have never been achieved by a party that preaches blue versus red,” he said.

Asked to list some of his most difficult decisions, Muscat said that he will let history judge his actions.

“Self-praise is no praise, but all I want to say is that the most crucial of decisions come at the hardest times,” he stated.