Gozo is ready for change - Joseph Muscat
Gozo is ready for a change, Joseph Muscat said this evening.
The PL Leader was addressing a mass meeting in Xaghra Gozo. This will be the final PL mass meeting in Gozo, with the final meeting expected to occur on Thursday.
As the sun set over the island of Gozo supporters entered the square, with the area between the church and stage seeing a multitude of banners raised flanked by waving flags as the dim lights shone on the church in the background.
Gozo is ready to change with Labour, the PL leader said. Nine weeks ago, the Labour Leader found himself in Xaghra, telling the people that a signal was given. “That signal was that the Gozitans will be protagonists in this change”. This is the beginning of the final week of the campaign, he said. The PL has come here to Gozo to show that the PL will defend the needs of families and businesses in Gozo. The PL will defend the needs and the rights of all Gozitans and will not focus on a clique.
Dr Muscat spoke about not looking at people as being blue or red, stating that when looking at Maltese and Gozitans, the PL Leader sees one people. The Gozitans have a choice, between more politics of the past where the PN will give themselves €500 a week and will continue to use oil, or a party of change. He emphasised that the PN find themselves cut off from the people. If the PL come to Govern, they would not raise energy tariffs, adding that this is the politics of the past. “The PN has lost contact with reality”, he said.
Dr Muscat mentioned the 4,600 youths who are unemployed, stating that he cannot believe why the PN call these people irrelevant. Five years ago, the PN promised a lot of things, however they are still promising the same things/, he said, adding that they did not keep their promises. “This is why we need a change and the Gozitans should speak out and let their voices be heard saying that there is a need for change”. The PL’s style of PL does not include banging on peoples doors right before the election, but rather after the election, showing the people that the party will not lose contact with the people.
The PL are not promising everything to everyone, but rather has carefully made proposals. The PL’s proposals will be careful with peoples money, only proposing schemes which the party is sure it can keep, Joseph Muscat pledged. Five years from now, he wants to come in front of the people and be able to say that the PL has kept all promises. Recently, the PL have published the conclusion of two years of meetings with the FKNK hunting lobby, he said. This is an agreement which will not promise everything to everyone, he added. Dr Muscat explained that not everyone will agree with this deal. The EU negotiation packet with the EU cannot and will not be changed, but Maltese hunters should be treated the same way as other EU countries he said. The PL will remain vigilant when it comes to enforcement, and no illegalities will be protected, he emphasised. The PL Leader decided to use the AD slogan and said; “This is why I tell you, with us you know where you are”.
Social mobility is a key issue for the PL, Joseph Muscat said. He added that jobs for Gozitans in Gozo will be created. The PL will give a tax credit of €15,000 to everyone who opens a new business. Every employer who hires an employee will receive a tax credit of €5000 he said. There will also be initiatives for people to work in Gozo. Dr Muscat pledged to work on Gozo’s infrastructure and will consider a tunnel between the two islands, as well as introducing ferries from Gozo to Valletta, adding that a helicopter service will also be opened. The PL will invest in a cruise liner terminal in Mgarr, which will help create more jobs. He spoke about opening an elderly home in Gozo. He stated that it is not acceptable for cancer patients having to go to Malta to receive treatment.
Mentioning education, he spoke about the interest shown by foreign universities to open campuses in Gozo as well as allowing exams to be held in Gozo rather than having to travel to Malta. There is a lot to be done, he said, adding that the Ministry for Gozo will need to help realise the potential in all aspects of life in Gozo. The PL are presenting a united team that is ready to work, he said, a team where no person is bigger than the cause. He addressed Anglu Farrugia, stating that he looks forward to working with him again. Within the next five days, “you must try and convince those who are still undecided to make a choice”. If every person doesn’t contribute, he said, then the people could find themselves living the next five years as they are now. He urged everyone to vote early in order to send a signal to the PN.
Joseph Muscat is convinced that the PL has never presented such a strong array of candidates who know what Gozitans want and need. He appealed to the crowd to vote for all the PL candidates, which would send a clear message to the PN that Gozo is ready for change.