The Maltese people are my brothers - Joseph Muscat
The people of Malta and Gozo are brothers and as such must not be afraid of voting for a new party, Labour Leader Joseph Muscat urged whilst taking the stage to address the crowd.
The PL mass meeting at the Floriana granaries looked to be the biggest one yet, with the band ”A Friend in London”, writers of Labour’s anthem “A New Tomorrow”, playing on stage right before the speeches. Flags waved whilst people dressed in red cowboy hats sang along to the tunes.
There are six days left in the election, and Joseph Muscat urged the people to keep up their support. Those who have yet to receive their voting document must do so. If these people don’t vote, they would be saying thank you to those people who have walked over them during the past five years. He appealed to those who have yet to decide who to vote for, adding that the choice is between a party who has not kept its promises, or a party which has a properly costed plan. The choice is between negative personal attacks or uniting the country, he said. “The PL has called on the people to unite for change”. He addressed those who will, for the first time, change their vote, asking them not to be frightened. “We are brothers”. To those who are being told that people do not believe in them, “Joseph Muscat believes in you”, he emphasised. This election has the possibility to historically change the direction, he said, again urging everyone to vote.
On March 9, the people of Malta and Gozo must decide the future of the country Joseph Muscat said. “This choice is not an easy choice and is not a normal choice between blue and red”. This choice will not give a victory to half the people and a loss to the other half, he emphasised. “This choice must see a united people”. Regardless of who is elected, the people must feel that the Government can represent them. It is a decision on a Government which divides and a Government which unites, he stated. He dreamt of a country where jobs are gained on a person’s capabilities and not on who they know, he stated. He spoke about the 20 priorities in the PL Manifesto and the empty promises of the PN electoral programme.
Dr Muscat spoke about energy, arguing that the PN in the past said that they would be unable to lower energy tariffs, but now promise to lower night tariffs. He stated that the PN want the country to keep buying millions of euros in oil every day, where people gaining commissions are rampant. The PN refused to change to gas three times, he alleged, adding that the PN wasn’t forced to change to oil, but rather chose this path. “The PL has the clearest and most detailed energy plan ever put before the people during an election”. The plan will not only be good for the economy, but also for the peoples’ health and the environment. This will put €77 million a year back into the country’s pocket, he promised, adding that this will bring about more jobs by lowering the taxes of companies.
The PL Leader spoke about youth’s being out of work, arguing that the PN called these people irrelevant. “Every person is relevant,” he emphasised, mentioning the self-employed and business, thanking them for all they have done. He mentioned meeting a number of businessmen who want to create more jobs. The only way to move forward is to bring about good, this is why the private sector is at the centre of the PL’s roadmap, he stated, adding that this is p. Through the private sectors aid, the country can improve the educational system, as well as bring more women to work.
Education and health
Dr Muscat touched on healthcare, emphasising that Mater Dei Hospital is already too small. The PL will speak with professionals to see how to modernise the hospitals. He spoke about introducing a system which will create a maximum waiting time for operations and if this time-frame is jumped, then the Government will employ the private sector to undertake the operation for free, he said.
The next topic was education, where Dr Muscat pledged to invest in teachers, and will give them the possibility to invest in themselves by giving them the option of a year sabbatical should they want to specialise. After this year, these teachers will re-enter the classroom better prepared and will be able to better educate the students, he emphasised. The PL will work to bring in more youths into the educational system. This is not a movement of holding back, but rather a movement of aspiration, he emphasised. He spoke about giving a second chance for students, adding that every 16-year-old who are not in school or working, will have the option to get training to either re-enter education or work. He addressed the issue of stipends, reiterating the PL’s promise to allow students who fail once, to have a second chance by keeping the stipend. The other party wants to abandon these students, he emphasised. Enticing students to keep studying is a key concept, he stated.
Dr Gonzi spoke about the elderly, adding that the PL understands the difficulty of living off a pension. He spoke about the plans to entice the elderly to continue to work once they reach retirement age, emphasising that this will be a choice and will not be forced upon them. He compared the pensions of certain people with the €500 increase of the Cabinet, pledging that a Labour cabinet will not take this rise. Social justice is a pillar for the PL, he stated, adding that decent pensions are a key issue for the party. This will increase the quality of life for Malta’s elderly.
People with disability were next on the agenda, adding that they need more accessibility and rights. People with disability will be at the forefront of a new Government’s agenda. If elected, the PL will obligate itself to respect the PL movement and will clear the minds of all people with disability by helping them live in homes within the community and not throw them in a home.
Over the coming six days, the PL will work on its clear message, Dr Muscat said whilst asking the youths to help. This week, the youth have again proven that they are at the heart of the movement, arguing that they are at the forefront of the movement. Those who already have decided to vote Labour must go out and convince those who are yet undecided, he urged, promising that this is the time for change.
Without change, there cannot be progress
Louis Grech said that the future belongs to those who are capable of conquering their own future. On March 9, the future of Malta is in the peoples’ hands, he said, adding that those who want to move away from insular politics and invest in a more progressive and humane country, must vote for the PL candidates. The PL, together with the people will bring about a future which belongs to everyone. The choice is clear, either a PN Government which will give more of the same inefficiency and arrogance or the PL who wants to make a difference by reducing bureaucracy and inefficiency. The people of Malta come first and foremost to the PL, he alleged.
Louis Grech described the PN as a party without direction and credibility which lost the trust of its own members, a party which is in denial and which is unable to address the energy problems and the national deficit. He Called the PL the party which will create credible measures that address the aspirations of the populace. “We want reforms which the people can adhere to,” he said. A new Government will work closely with the people and will base its Government on fulfilling its promises. “This Party will work to have an honest relationship with the citizens”. He believed that the majority of the Maltese and Gozitan people want a change to see a more developed country. These people believe in shedding the politics of the past, and are fed up with living in the past, he addressed.
The PL are thinking of the people, and the PL believes that its message will be heard as the message reflects what the people want, he stated. He emphasised that the people want better politics, which can put Malta in a brighter light. “Without change there cannot be progress”. The PL movement includes everyone, regardless of if they are blue or red, adding that this is a ‘just concept’. “To be effective, the next Government must adhere to this statement”.
A PL in Government will work on jobs and reducing the waiting lists, Louis Grech pledged. He believes that the hardest problem the party will face will be attempting to change peoples’ attitudes, emphasising the need for honesty in politics. As a party, the PL will address these problems he pledged, adding that the PL is devoted to moving forward. “What is not possible will be made possible,” he said. To gain the first mile, the PL must first take the first step, and March 9 is the first step, he explained. A PL Government will bring a new way of Governing and this is the moment of truth, he said. He spoke about the importance of keeping up the momentum which the PL has over the coming week. “With Joseph Muscat in Government, Malta will be devoted to creating a better future”.