Updated 4.45pm - Added PL statement
All that which the Maltese held dear was under threat because of the failings of the current Labour government, Opposition leader Adrian Delia charged on Sunday, in a forceful plea for more to join the Nationalist Party’s struggle.
“It is not safe to walk our streets under Labour, so come and walk with us. Our education is not good enough under labour, so join us in working to safeguard it. Our democracy is under threat, so come and fight for democracy with us. Indeed, all we have achieved as Maltese is under threat. If like us, you fear that our future is threatened, then come and unite with us,” he said.
Speaking at a political event at the PN party club in Tarxien, Dr Delia lashed out at the government’s plans to introduce foreign workers to sustain economic growth.
The administration, he said, had not created any new sectors or attracted new industry, and so was left with no choice but to depend on foreign labour to keep the economy from grinding to a halt.
The result? According to a revved up Dr Delia, the country was being flooded with third country nationals, which the authorities often had little information about.
“We do not know who these people are,” he warned.
Dr Delia sounded a warning that while the country was taking in foreign workers, certain localities, particularly Marsa and Ħamrun, faced problems with migrants sleeping on the street and in public parks.
“Where will these people live?” He asked - “In cow farms? Like animals?”
And, if the country had to take in more foreigners, he said, the authorities should at least know who they were, where they were coming from, and they should be taught Maltese culture to integrate.
After all, “Malta for all”, he said, was the Malta of Christian values.
“Do not be ashamed to say who you are,” he said.
The AG and the Egrant inquiry
Dr Delia dedicated the opening half of his address to the Opposition’s court struggle to get its hands on the full Egrant inquiry report.
He lambasted Attorney General Peter Grech, claiming he had been doing his utmost to try and stall the PN’s efforts to get a copy of the report through the Constitutional Court.
Dr Delia said the government had the police commissioner in his pocket after changing the head of the force several times, he had bought out newspapers to control the media, and he was now pulling the puppet strings above the AG’s head.
This was not just a battle in court, he said, it was a battle for the country’s democracy.
“And if you believe in democracy, then join us in our fight,” he said.
'Not a single positive word' - PL
The Labour Party reacted by accusing Dr Delia of being detached from reality and of giving vent of "extremist" discourse in his speech.
"Adrian Delia did not say a single positive word about our country," the PL said in a statement in which it likened the PN leader's speech to those his predecessor Simon Busuttil used to give.