Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning defended the controversial gas procurement agreement, insisting it had created “stability” for the island.

Addressing Labour Party supporters in Sliema, Dr Muscat said no one in Malta was following international affairs and worrying how they would impact local utility prices.

Last month Times of Malta reported how contract details previously concealed from the public indicated that taxpayers were losing tens of millions of euros from the new gas-fired power station deal.

Eyebrows have been raised over a $1 billion deal that Electrogas entered with Azerbaijan’s state-owned company Socar.

The price at which Electrogas buys gas from Socar is fixed at €9.40 per unit for five years, until April 2022, the leaked contracts show.

The multiple energy contracts, signed in April 2015, bind Enemalta to buy €131.6 million worth of LNG from Electrogas yearly. Since the deals were inked, oil and gas prices have crashed.

Dr Muscat however compared the hedging deal to buying car insurance.

A motorist, he said, could pay thousands of euros in car insurance and wonder why, until the day they had an accident. The same, he said, was true of hedging agreements, adding that he wished he could have similar agreements for other sectors.

The Labour leader started off his speech by telling those gathered that this Mother’s Day had a special significance for him.

The party, he said, was giving more women the opportunity to be mothers through its IVF reforms.

“When we do this, we are going further than a bouquet of flowers and a card, or a visit to the cemetery. We are giving a future to families that would not have otherwise been possible, a future for mothers who would not have been,” Dr Muscat said.

He recounted how last week former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil had told Parliament that if nature had not helped these women, and if God had not helped them, there was nothing to do.

“When I heard these words, I thought of the Maltese phrase – ‘help yourself for God to help you’,” Dr Muscat said to applause.

The government, he insisted, was empowering women to be able to help themselves through its IVF reform.

Moving on, Dr Muscat said he had smiled when he heard “the fantasy” of Nationalist Party deputy leader Robert Arrigo that Labour could win a two-thirds majority at the next general election.

The Labour Party, he said, would always remain “the underdog”.

“We always had an uphill road. The steeper it is, the faster we go up it. We have other hills to climb. We have a strong team, and a lot of work to do, but this is our mission,” he said.

Earlier Labour MP Robert Abela told those gathered how the Prime Minister had united the different factions of the Labour Party, creating a “winning movement”.

Housing Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes said the government had already implemented half of the electoral pledges it put forward for the housing sector in 11 months.

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