Busut­til pledges hon­esty

Si­mon Busut­til and Mar­lene Far­ru­gia to dis­cuss form­ing coali­tion against cor­rup­tion

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel At­tard

Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til and Par­tit Demokratiku (PD) leader and In­de­pen­dent MP Dr Mar­lene Far­ru­gia will meet in the com­ing days to dis­cuss the for­ma­tion of a coali­tion against cor­rup­tion.

Both MPs con­firmed the meet­ing in sep­a­rate com­ments to The Malta In­de­pen­dent.

Last Sun­day, Dr Busut­til urged peo­ple to join the PN in a coali­tion against cor­rup­tion, “a coali­tion be­tween peo­ple of good will who do not turn a blind eye to cor­rup­tion”.

After this state­ment, in a re­ply, Dr Far­ru­gia wrote on Face­book that she was ready to work to­wards set­ting up a na­tional coali­tion to en­sure bet­ter gov­er­nance, real so­cial jus­tice and the safe­guard­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment. She said that this is the best gift one could give to the coun­try on its 52nd an­niver­sary since it at­tained In­de­pen­dence.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent asked Dr Busut­til and Dr Far­ru­gia if they are ready to meet each other to dis­cuss a way for­ward.

Dr Busut­til replied: “I am ready to meet Dr Far­ru­gia to dis­cuss a pro­posal for a na­tional coali­tion against cor­rup­tion.”

To the same ques­tion Dr Far­ru­gia replied, “that the PD is ready to start dis­cussing with the PN.”

When asked if she was go­ing to at­tend the PN In­de­pen­dence mass meet­ing (held yes­ter­day), Dr Far­ru­gia said that she will not at­tend since her party is not yet for­mally es­tab­lished. She will be at­tend­ing of­fi­cial In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions at St John’s Co Cathe­dral to­day.

Dr Far­ru­gia added that she looks for­ward for a healthy coali­tion and she will make sure that things are done the right way.

Dr Far­ru­gia re­signed from the Labour Party last Novem­ber. She had taken part in two Na­tion­al­ist Party ac­tiv­i­ties in protest against the use of ODZ land in Marsas­cala for the build­ing of a new Univer­sity and the Panama Pa­per scan­dal.

This news­room also con­tacted Al­ter­nat­tiva Demokratika Chair­per­son Prof Arnold Cas­sola and asked him if his party is ready to join the coali­tion men­tioned by Dr Busut­til. Prof Cas­sola said “Dr Busut­til does not mean coali­tion in the sense used in con­ti­nen­tal Europe. What he ac­tu­ally means is the as­sim­i­la­tion by the PN of small po­lit­i­cal par­ties. The real so­lu­tion to the dis­as­trous lack of ethics in Mal­tese pol­i­tics is a multi-party par­lia­ment and not a con­sol­i­da­tion of the two party sys­tem”.

Leader of the Na­tion­al­ist Party, Si­mon Busut­til has pledged hon­esty, as an as­set he said he can of­fer to the peo­ple.

“I have no govern­ment jobs which I can of­fer you. I can­not buy your votes. I can­not be bought and I am not will­ing to sell my soul. But I can of­fer you some­thing that oth­ers can­not – hon­esty!” he told the crowd gath­ered in Flo­ri­ana.

He said the aim of form­ing a Na­tional Coali­tion against Cor­rup­tion is to give the power to the peo­ple. Dr Busut­til said that any­one of good will can join. He wel­comed peo­ple who had al­ways voted for the Labour Party and last tonight de­cided to join in the mass meet­ing held by the Na­tion­al­ist Party at the Gra­naries in Flo­ri­ana to cel­e­brate In­de­pen­dence.

Si­mon Busut­til said that he agrees with the pro­posal pushed for­ward by the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil so that vot­ing is ex­tended to those of 16 years and over. He said that this right should come into force as from the next gen­eral elec­tion.

“I want to thank all those in­volved in the party, and those who are will­ing to join this po­lit­i­cal force. We are work­ing to­gether so that the Na­tion­al­ist Party will be trusted as the party to lead this coun­try.”

Re­fer­ring to the 52nd an­niver­sary of Malta’s In­de­pen­dence, Dr Busut­til said he was very proud that it had been the Na­tion­al­ist Party who had the vi­sion and the courage to fight for Malta’s In­de­pen­dence.

“We are very proud of all the good things that this Party man­aged to leave Malta with. It was this party who was given the priv­i­lege to lead this coun­try for more than 30 years.”

Dr Busut­til said that we have to go be­yond than cel­e­brat­ing this an­niver­sary. He said that it was our fore­fa­thers who made In­de­pen­dence Day pos­si­ble. “It is our turn to make the coun­try bet­ter than it is to­day.”

Ad­dress­ing a crowd which gath­ered be­fore the main stage, Dr Busut­til said that the work­ers are the back­bone of our so­ci­ety. He said these hard work­ing peo­ple still can­not feel the ef­fect of the eco­nomic achieve­ments which are praised so much by the govern­ment.

“These work­ers tell me they feel be­trayed by the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion. They feel that they were used only for the vote. To those who feel this way I tell you; the Na­tion­al­ist Party will not put you aside. We have the work­ers at the heart of the party and we are here to serve you and to serve our­selves.”

He re­ferred to the in­come of an av­er­age Mal­tese fam­ily.

“It is not true that a fam­ily can sur­vive with a €25 bud­get for food each week as claimed by the Min­is­ter who has a com­pany in Panama. I want to lead a govern­ment who is sen­si­tive to your sit­u­a­tions. I want to use the money col­lected from taxed not on Café Pre­mier or Gaf­farena.”

He promised that the Na­tion­al­ist Party, if elected in govern­ment, would be will­ing to pro­vide sub­sidy for those who rent prop­erty from a pri­vate owner.

“I do not agree with hav­ing the govern­ment raise monthly rent for those liv­ing in govern­ment hous­ing es­tates. That is why my govern­ment will be low­er­ing the rent back to how it was be­fore.”

On pen­sions, Dr Busut­til said it is high time that pen­sion­ers are ex­empted from pay­ing tax and said that any medicine should be made freely avail­able to all pen­sion­ers.

“It is un­ac­cept­able to have those peo­ple who suf­fer from chronic dis­eases such as cancer and have them beg the Pres­i­dent for help. What kind of dig­nity is this? You should get medicine for free, be­cause this is why you pay your taxes.”

Speak­ing fur­ther on health, Dr Busut­til said that the govern­ment should en­sure a good qual­ity of life and em­pha­sised the need to tackle di­a­betes, obe­sity and heart dis­eases. He said that a PN govern­ment will work to cre­ate new eco­nomic sec­tors “be­cause the govern­ment has not ex­plored any new sec­tors in these last three years”.

He re­ferred to the govern­ment’s claim that the PN will not be sup­port­ing the govern­ment in the EU Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion of i-gam­ing. Dr Busut­til said that this is not true and called on Joseph Mus­cat to stop play­ing with par­ti­san pol­i­tics.

“Joseph Mus­cat has in­volved pol­i­tics in the Freeport, in our fi­nan­cial ser­vices, fish farms and now, even gam­ing. Let’s work to­gether, not against each other. If there is any risk in­volved in this sec­tor, it is not com­ing from us, but from those who are tar­nish­ing Malta’s rep­u­ta­tion.”

On the en­vi­ron­ment, the PN leader said that he will have eco­nomic growth and the safe­guard­ing of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment work hand in hand. He also re­ferred to the gas tanker which will soon be reach­ing Malta and told those who live in Marsaxlokk and Birzeb­buga, that the PN will be de­fend­ing their cause.

“I know that many of you are con­cerned about na­tional se­cu­rity. Be­cause this govern­ment is is­su­ing hun­dreds of visas with­out us know­ing who is, in re­al­ity, com­ing into our coun­try.”

He said that in a pe­riod of three years, this govern­ment has hi­jacked the in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tions of our coun­try and re­it­er­ated the pro­posal to have those sit­ting at in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tions elected by a two-thirds vote in par­lia­ment.

The mis­sion of a govern­ment led by the Na­tion­al­ist Party will be to erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion, he added while promis­ing that all those who were in­volved in the govern­ment’s cor­rup­tion will pay.

“To those ask­ing if Si­mon Busut­til can re­ally be trusted, I re­mind that when oth­ers told you to vote against Malta’s mem­ber­ship in the EU, I was there to per­suade you other­wise and I had told you the truth.”

I have no govern­ment jobs which I can of­fer you. I can­not buy your votes. I can­not be bought and I am not will­ing to sell my soul. But I can of­fer you some­thing that oth­ers can­not - hon­esty!

PN em­barks on jour­ney to re­move the most cor­rupt govern­ment in Mal­tese his­tory - Fenech Adami

Na­tion­al­ist Party Deputy Leader for Party Af­fairs Beppe Fenech Adami said that the PN’s mass meet­ing to cel­e­brate In­de­pen­dence Day will see the start of a jour­ney which will lead the Na­tion­al­ist Party to the next gen­eral elec­tion, “to re­move the most cor­rupt govern­ment in Mal­tese his­tory”.

“We have a few who are suc­ceed­ing, but there are a lot of peo­ple who are be­ing left be­hind.”

He said that the coun­try is be­ing led by peo­ple such as Cyrus En­gerer, busi­ness­men from Jordan and prop­erty own­ers in Old Mint Street.

“The Na­tion­al­ist Party is the home for those young peo­ple who be­lieve in po­lit­i­cal hon­esty, for small busi­ness own­ers and par­ents who work hard for their chil­dren. We are a party for the weak and vul­ner­a­ble in our so­ci­ety.

“Be pre­pared, the com­ing months will be filled with con­stant work, we will knock on ev­ery­one’s door and con­vince peo­ple that Malta de­serves much bet­ter.”

He said that the other party al­ready stated that they will be fight­ing with an axe, or adopt an eye for an eye at­ti­tude, but the PN will fight back with the best weapon - hon­esty.

“Hon­esty, and Si­mon Busut­til are the best weapons we have,” he said as the crowd cheered.

Our in­de­pen­dence to­day is threat­ened by those who do not have Malta’s in­ter­est at heart - De Marco

PN Deputy Leader for Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, Mario de Marco men­tioned all the peo­ple who have made In­de­pen­dence day pos­si­ble, and those who have made Malta proud.

He men­tioned Nerik Mizzi, Ge­orge Borg Olivier, Ed­die Fenech Adami and Lawrence Gonzi.

He said In­de­pen­dence is not some­thing you achieve once, but it is some­thing you need to fight for every day. Dr de Marco said it was the Na­tion­al­ist Party who man­aged to build im­por­tant sec­tors on which to­day the govern­ment is bas­ing its eco­nomic growth.

“We have man­aged to keep Malta’s name in a good light and our achieve­ment, that of get­ting into the Euro­pean Union, was not the des­ti­na­tion, but a way of achiev­ing bet­ter re­sults.”

Dr de Marco said that the Mal­tese pub­lic faced threats to its in­de­pen­dence in the past. But he said with ma­tu­rity, one can look at these times and make sure that these are not re­peated.

“Un­for­tu­nately, now we are still liv­ing in a time when our real in­de­pen­dence is threat­ened. How in­de­pen­dent are we when we have govern­ment deputies say­ing that they are not com­fort­able vot­ing in favour of a par­tic­u­lar min­is­ter?

“How can we be in­de­pen­dent when the per­son who is lead­ing the lo­cal po­lice force, is not in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions?”

He said he feels very dis­ap­pointed with the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal.

“A Min­is­ter has tar­nished our rep­u­ta­tion and our rep­u­ta­tion of good gov­er­nance. The log­i­cal con­clu­sion be­fore all of this, Kon­rad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri should no longer serve our coun­try.”

Dr de Marco said that this is ob­vi­ous for ev­ery­one ex­cept for Joseph Mus­cat.

“To de­fend the in­ter­est of three peo­ple, he ig­nored the in­ter­est of the pub­lic.”

He men­tioned Café Pre­mier, Gaf­farena and the Australia Hall as ex­am­ples which show how Malta’s in­de­pen­dence in be­ing threat­ened.

Re­fer­ring to the eco­nomic suc­cess, he said that as the econ­omy grows, the dif­fer­ence be­tween the rich and the poor is al­ways grow­ing larger.

“Be­fore all these chal­lenges, the PN can try and play along and win as much votes as pos­si­ble. But in that way, we will be gov­ern­ing while be­ing held hostage by those who have money.”

The PN Deputy Leader said that the Op­po­si­tion is propos­ing that the high­est po­si­tions should not be filled with peo­ple who are po­lit­i­cally ap­pointed, but by a twothirds ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment.

“The only way for­ward is hon­esty. Every Mal­tese should be proud of Malta. We are a very small coun­try and we can­not keep this po­lit­i­cal di­vide.”

To those ask­ing if Si­mon Busut­til can re­ally be trusted, I re­mind that when oth­ers told you to vote against Malta’s mem­ber­ship in the EU, I was there to per­suade you other­wise and I had told you the truth.

Photo: Jonathan Borg

Pho­tos: Jonathan Borg

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