The Nationalist Party will not shy away from cleaning up the mess that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will leave behind when he bows out of local politics, PN leader Adrian Delia said on Sunday.
Speaking at a party gathering in Msida, Dr Delia said the Labour administration’s policies and lack of long term planning had taken the country to the brink of disaster.
Prime Minister Muscat, he said, will not be around to have to deal with the fall-out, after having vowed to leave local politics after 10-years – a deadline that is fast approaching.
Dr Delia said the Labour Party’s plan for getting into office had been carried out just to allow a snatch-and-grab of the country's assets.
The consequences of today's actions, he said, would be felt tomorrow.
“The PN had never shied away from addressing the challenges and big problems, no matter how grave the situation. Once again we come before you, and say we are here to take the country forward and do what needs to be done,” he said to a round of applause from the party faithful.
The country’s bleak prospects
The bulk of Dr Delia’s Sunday speech saw the PN leader detail how youths were facing a future where they could not afford to put a roof over their heads.
A future where cheap labour flooded the jobs market, and where the birth rate continued to plummet.
The fibre of what made citizens Maltese was being changed. And, the ‘society that cares’ was the victim of this “frenzied change without a plan”, he said.
“That is how Joseph Muscat is changing our society – for the worse,” Dr Delia warned.
Msida: a university town
Earlier in his speech, Dr Delia mapped out his vision for Msida to be transformed into a university town and a maritime centre.
The PN, he said, believed in the potential of Msida, a place that houses Junior College and the University. Abroad, towns like this, were full of life.
“Between the marinas, the waterfront, the university… you could make Msida one of the nicest destinations on the island,” he said. But, alas, he said, the present government had even kept Msida primary school closed for two years.
Cars, transport and cancer factories
Dr Delia referred to a recent study that found that deaths as a result of poor from air quality were far worse than previously thought.
Research published in the European Heart Journal used new data on the health impacts of air pollution to estimate that about 800,000 people a year across the EU die early and that the average person loses two years of life.
Malta’s figures – which compare to previous estimates of between 250 and 270 early deaths for the same period – are slightly worse than the EU average.
Compared to the population, Malta experiences 137 early deaths per 100,000 people, when the EU average stands at 129 per 100,000.
“We were told no more cancer factories. But this is the situation we are facing. We used to say we were the worst in Europe for air quality – but it is actually twice as bad as we had feared,” he said.
And what was the government’s solution? Nothing but a guarantee that it would only get worse, as 900 cars-a-month, month-on-month, were being added to the roads.
Not forgetting Gozo
On the sister island, Dr Delia said so much had been promised, but so little actually delivered.
“[Joseph] Muscat promised a casino, a bridge – which then became a tunnel, an air strip, a cruise terminal, a revamped health system, and what did Gozo actually get?” He asked.
The government, he said, had been trying to pull the wool over Gozitan’s eyes – but the lack of results spoke for themselves.
This was why he was, and would continue to, visiting Gozo every week.
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