During a political activity on Sunday morning, Labour leader Joseph Muscat said that this week the PL had been proved right over the choice of fuel with which operate the Delimara power station. After having spent €200 million on a power station which operates on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), this week Enemalta issued a tender for a feasibility study to convert the power station from HFO to Gas Firing.
For the past few years the Opposition was not alone in condemning the use of HFO for the operation of the Delimara power station and insisting that gas would have been the best alternative. Numerous environmental and health consultants had advised the government against HFO as this type of oil residue is harmful to both people’s health and the environment. However, GonziPN had forged ahead with the plans and even spent thousands of euros in media campaigns to convince the people that HFO was indeed the best choice, only to go back on his word months later.
Joseph Muscat referred to the recent meagre decline in fuel prices, which, according to international oil prices, should have been reduced by much more. Muscat explained how Enemalta’s justification was a weak one which did not make any sense, while adding that he will be holding the MRA Chairman accountable for failing to speak out against this blatant abuse. Muscat also mentioned the recent trips the government was embarking upon in order to strike deals over fuel with other countries. Muscat asked why the government was only doing this now, as the end of the legislature was looming near.
On the country’s economy, Muscat said that the GonziPN government did not believe its own statistics, and is stating that these do not represent the real picture. Accoring to Lawrence Gonzi and Tonio Fenech, the country’s deficit should have gone down by €50 million, but instead it had increased by €83 million. Fenech had also promised that the country’s debts would not exceed €100 million by the end of 2012, however, six months into this year, the debt had already reached a staggering €141 million. This resulted in the country having to pay 30% more on interests than it is paying for the education of our children.
Muscat recalled how, faced with parliamentary questions, the government had always said that the financial package of Richard Cachia Caruana was more or less similar to that of other ambassadors. However we have now learnt that RCC was receiving no less than 150 thousand a year, plus another 170 thousand for expenses. Muscat also said that at some point someone had decided to give RCC a raise, which amounted to 500 per week. In a sarcastic tone the Labour leader remarked that this amount somehow rang a bell.
During a moment of comic relief, a stray dog wandered in near the podium while Muscat was speaking. The Labour leader immediately asked those present not to send the dog away, and elicited the laughter and applause of those present when he remarked that ‘Labour was truly a movement open to everyone, even those who cannot vote’.