Embattled Economy Minister Chris Cardona told the annual general conference of the Labour Party on Wednesday evening that 'the more they lie about us, the more they strengthen us'.

Faced with intensifying lies and attacks, the Labour Party was showing its strength through unity, he said to applause. 

The deputy leader for party affairs was closing the annual general conference themed ‘Tomorrow’s Malta’.

He said he was making it a point not to react “aggressively” to current attacks on the advice of the prime minister, who had urged him to be calm and speak about positive issues. Dr Muscat had pointed out to him that even many within the PN were ignoring the current attacks.

Last week, the first in a series of stories published as part of the Daphne Project quoted witnesses claiming Dr Cardona had been seen drinking with one of the three men facing charges of murdering Ms Caruana Galizia. The minister denied the claims.

At the PL conference, Dr Cardona said PL distinguished itself not with nice slogans, but with concrete action, and the party seemed to be following in the government’s steps. The government had achieved economic growth and a national surplus, and the party had achieved its own financial surplus.   

Earlier, PL CEO Randolph Debattista said the party's total revenue in 2017 stood at more than €2.6million, while outlay totalled nearly €2million. Some €1,191,000 of these were spent during the electoral campaign.

The Economy Minister was addressing the delegates moments after Parliament approved the Domestic Violence law with the support of 10 Opposition MPs.
“We could not believe that contrary to our unified side, the Opposition’s side was chaotic… How can a party incapable of leading its own people, lead a country,” he asked.

“The more they lie about us, the more they will strengthen us. The more they try to put stokes in our wheels, the more we will focus our energy on what is best for the country,” he said, adding that the PN was putting its own interests before those of the people.

“Over the past months, attacks on the Prime Minister and on the party have intensified. My message is to remain united.”

The call of unity was a constant throughout the meeting.

MP Glenn Bedingfield insisted that the Labour's votes in parliament were a show of Labour’s unity.

“I don’t believe that there is a thirst for justice, but a thirst for power. They are so thirsty for power, that they are ready to do anything – even working against the interest of our country.

“They are doing so by uniting with other elements – especially conservative ones – and attacking us by trying to destabilise the country. In light of this we should keep one aim in mind: Malta.”

The PL, he said, was the party that truly loved Malta, and its reply to such attacks was a show of unity and effective efforts such as an increase in employment opportunities.

“Don’t forget that we have the support of the majority of the population. We will implement the government’s plan,” he said to applause.

Mr Bedingfield told delegates that those who disliked the party believed that the PL had no right to speak, or hold mass meetings.

“This is the sense of superiority of those who cannot stand being in opposition.

Our reply will remain: unity,” he said, urging them to turn up for the May 1 mass meeting.

Before him, Executive Secretary Lydia Abela noted that while PL's parliamentary group stood united when it came to legislation that empowered vulnerable people,  the Opposition was split.


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