Malta has consistently been missing its emissions targets and has the worst air quality in Europe, Environment Shadow Minister Jason Azzopardi charged on Saturday morning.

The country has been paying Bulgaria around €200,000 a year because it cannot reach its targets, a report the government has never denied. It also has the worst track record for recycling.

Read: Malta again fails emission test, has to pay "hundreds of thousands"

“The Socialist government and the environment are not compatible. Euronews described us as the dirty man of Europe. 600 people die every year as a result of the bad air quality,” he said.

Dr Azzopardi said all this is happening because the government did not have a proper plan for the environment, especially to be able to deal with the increase in the country’s population.

He said Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia asked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during a debate this week about Malta’s carrying capacity but the question remained unanswered because the government has no plan.

“What is Malta’s maximum capacity? This country is becoming unlivable. We not only need a good quality of life but we also need to have clean air to breathe,” he said.

MEP candidate Michael Briguglio said the party had strong proposals where it wanted to see the country in the future and how it could reach its targets.

Among the proposals, the PN is insisting that the country reaches its environment targets. It also wants to achieve a modal shift in transport, which is not simply widening roads but the effective use of public transport. Moreover, it is proposing to use EU funds to be able to improve the state of the environment.

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