The current power situation proves how wise Labour’s plan for Malta’s generation of energy was, according to Joseph Muscat.

Giving his last radio interview for 2019, the outgoing prime minister said that had there been no new power station in Delimara and no LNG tanker, parts of Malta would be out of power for long stretches or totally dependent on the old, polluting Marsa power station.

On Monday, Enemalta said an undersea cable connecting the Maltese national grid to the European energy network was completely out of action.

Enemalta chairman Kevin Chircop said he was not in a position to say for how long the interconnector would be out of action. 

There have been several nationwide power cuts in the last five weeks and several widespread outages.

Joseph Muscat speaking during the inauguration of the Electrogas power station in 2017. Photo: DOI/Jason BorgJoseph Muscat speaking during the inauguration of the Electrogas power station in 2017. Photo: DOI/Jason Borg

Dr Muscat said that the actual cause and extent of the damage to the interconnector would be known by next week. 

"They used to tell us we did not need the new power station. Had Malta not had a mix of power generators, we would have found ourselves in dire straits," Dr Muscat said.

‘We did all that had to be done’

Referring to the fallout from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, Dr Muscat said that all that could be done had been done. 

The mastermind was facing court proceedings, three people had been accused of committing the murder and investigations had been carried out while others were ongoing.

What could be done was done and those who tried to hinder or hide developments had remained unsuccessful, he said, adding that he was not intimidated by threats. 

“This case has been solved under my responsibility and no threat would have stopped me.”

He added that he has toed the line and followed the advice of the authorities throughout the past two years.

“I would have preferred another exit, but I’d rather resign and know that the murder case has been solved, than leave behind an unresolved case. We act with facts, not empty words. There are a lot of experts out there. I’m not one of them, I just do my job.”

Dr Muscat was also asked about an inventory of gifts given to prime ministers that reportedly lists gifts given directly to the State.

This follows concerns about revelations that Yorgen Fenech, who stands charged with complicity in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, had gifted Dr Muscat two luxury watches and three bottles of some of the most expensive wine in the world.  

The government has already said that no inventory of gifts given to the Prime Ministers had been left prior to 2013.

“We didn’t even find the pencil used for the registry… in some places we did not even find a cup.”

He added that while he had avoided criticising his predecessors, he had not even found any gifts related to Malta’s accession to the EU.

Dr Muscat reiterated his plans to publish a list of all the gifts he received during his tenure, and this list, he added, will show that his was the only watch that will be left to the Maltese State. 

“Where are the other gifted watches? I know where watch number 1 is. I’m the only one who declared the watch and I will be leaving it to the state. I will not let anyone tarnish my name."

What does 2020 have in store 

Dr Muscat’s favourite budget measure for the new year, at the beginning of which he will pass on the baton to a new prime minister, is an increase in pensions of €7 a week.

The increase, he said, will immediately impact the standard of living of thousands of existing and upcoming pensioners.

“This is the government’s legacy… I’m proud of this legacy as I am proud of the €600 million that the new prime minister will find in the state’s coffers, contrary to the debt I found. 

“The new prime minister will have a surplus that he needs to take care of or invest wisely. This will be the first Labour prime minister who will find surplus and not debt, and I’m proud I’m leaving it for a Labour prime minister and not a Nationalist one.”

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