Labour leader Joseph Muscat explained how the government was much more preoccupied with internal party conflicts rather than with hardships plaguing Maltese families and businesses. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi’s first priority was to devise ways which would allow him to hold on to his power, and not ways in which he can improve the country’s economy, which in turn would improve the quality of life of Maltese and Gozitan families.
During a political activity in Pembroke on Sunday morning, Dr. Muscat warned Lawrence Gonzi that, despite adopting his ‘business as usual’ attitude when faced with the recurrent loss of his parliamentary majority, ultimately the consequences would catch up with him. “You can run but you cannot hide”, reiterated Muscat. However Labour was acting responsibly, and was not creating problems in order to force the PM to call on an early election. “We are not in a hurry”, Muscat said.
In fact, the government’s problems did not stem from the Opposition, but from the small clique which controlled the government. Muscat referred to those who had described the operation of GonziPN as an Apartheid system. After successively losing the parliamentary majority and after Gonzi contested alone for the PN leadership, GonziPN’s government had now degenerated into a coalition government.
Muscat reiterated Labour’s promise of a new middle-class, which would be achieved by means of a roadmap with twelve sustainable proposals. Labour would not humiliate families who needed financial help by giving them meagre energy vouchers for which they needed to queue in public. Labour would not treat the unemployed as criminals, asking them to queue on a daily basis in order to be given their rights.
Muscat warned that GonziPN would use the powerful tools of scaring people through lies and political spins. This tool had already been used on a variety of issues, and the stipends system was one of the targeted issues. However Muscat promised that a Labour government would not alter anything from the current stipend system and any alterations would only be to increase the stipends.
Muscat explained how he was the first party leader from both PN and PL to benefit from the stipend system, and therefore he cannot revoke for other students the benefits he had enjoyed. Muscat said that he would only accept criticism from those who had acted wisely on the issue. However Muscat reminded Lawrence Gonzi that he had been the last PM to decrease student stipends, and that therefore it was inconceivable for the PM to accuse Labour on this issue.