Former prime minister Alfred Sant took to the stage on Sunday to offer stark warnings on corruption, Malta’s low-tax regime and climate change.

Addressing the closing of the PL’s general conference, Sant said that the government's economic success would naturally lead to temptation for bribery, corruption and people putting their snouts in the trough.

He said Labour should not make the same mistakes the Nationalist Party made while in government, by ignoring the problem or denying it even exists.

Sant said people forming party of the Labour ranks should not see it as a career opportunity, bur rather use it as a platform to advance Labour ideals.

“Ask not what Labour can give to us, but what we can give to Labour. No one is bigger than the party. No one is bigger than the country”.

Sant also sounded a warning on Malta’s low tax regime, saying other EU countries were rightly fed up with the wealthy using the country to avoid tax.

He said a common tax base would impact the financial services sector in Malta, which is a key pillar of the economy.

On climate change, Sant said rising temperatures and sea levels have the potential to ravage Malta’s way of life.

He said that to mitigate this pending disaster, measures at EU level will require sacrifices and big changes in the way the country is led.

Sant expressed his confidence that prime minister Robert Abela is the right man to lead the country through these challenge. 

He also paid homage to his “good friend”, former Labour leader Joseph Muscat.

On the economy, Sant reminded how Labour’s core values were always about protecting the most vulnerable members of society. He said one cannot combat poverty and ensure social justice without taking care of the economy.

The ex-PL leader, however, did not mince his words on the economy’s dependence on low-paid workers.

“We must not forget the foreign and Maltese works on a miserable pay. It is a truth that our economy is dependent on low wages. This injustice must be fixed. No one should be forgotten,” Sant said.

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