PM - We will not see Malta return to a Mintoff-standard of living
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that he would not stand to see Malta return to the poor standard of living it had under the government of Dom Mintoff.
Speaking at the Independence Day celebrations in Floriana, Dr Gonzi said that time and again, throughout its history, Labour had proven that it was bad at generating employment. He said that the present Labour leader, Joseph Muscat, had worked very hard to keep Malta out of the EU, and had also recommended that Malta follow Cyprus’ economic model, which had ultimately failed. He criticised Dr Muscat’s populist politics, saying he did not have the courage to take a stance for or against a subject which he thought could lose him votes, such as the Libyan crisis. He also criticised Labour economist Prof. Edward Scicluna, who kept speaking for a return to ‘Mintoff-onomics”.
“We will not stand to have Malta return to the poor standard of living it had under Dom Mintoff. We will not see another generation lose opportunities and careers due to Labour’s mistakes and poor judgements. We want to keep Malta moving forward and not backwards; improving not regressing.”
Dr Gonzi said that in the next four years, the PN wanted to create another 20,000 jobs along with the 20,000 it had already created in the past four years. He spoke about 48 years of independence for Malta where the Nationalist Party had always meant peace of mind, an improved quality of life and the safeguarding of civil rights. He praised former PN leaders and Prime Ministers such as Gorg Borg Olivier and Eddie Fenech Adami who had led Malta through challenges in recent history, including joining the EU.
“The wisdom and sensible governance of the Nationalist Party has helped us sail through stormy weather. We are not completely in the clear yet – we want our country to keep strengthening the three pillars which form the policies of the PN – health, education and jobs.”
“In the next four years, we want to create another 20,000 jobs if possible. We want to keep making decisions which enable us to create more and better jobs for our children and future generations.”
“Other governments cannot take pride in this remarkable feat, especially since everything else was against us. Malta had the second highest growth in gainful employment and we have the fifth-lowest rate of unemployment. We have to keep working to build on these results and improve upon them.”
Dr Gonzi said that Labour never spoke about how Malta’s resources were based on how ably the government was able to invest in the future, even in those whose future did not lie with academic learning. He said that Malta’s economy was so diversified that there would be no trouble finding jobs for anyone, no matter what their standard of education. All they had to possess was a willingness to work.
He said that young people were not the only people who were finding employment – the government had allowed elderly people to keep working and get their pension and improved conditions for working mothers. He said that Labour couldn’t stomach the fact that so many jobs had been created and were constantly trying to pour water on these claims.
Following an intervention by Prof. Joe Friggieri, Dr Gonzi also spoke about the importance of extracurricular activities and overseas opportunities, which gave students the opportunity for a more holistic education. He said that while students in different countries were struggling to fund their education because of the prohibitive costs, Malta was handing out scholarships, and was working on even more inclusive opportunities for students.
Dr Gonzi also spoke about the investments the government had made in the fields of energy, waste management and industry, which were all meant to ensure a brighter future for Malta.
“Together, we are choosing how to write the future of our country. We are shaping Malta’s destiny together. This is the change we want to bring; this is our mission, this is our path. When the election comes, whenever that will be, we will keep working to bring about positive change for our country and our people.”