'Anything but socialist' - Delia calls out Labour government

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia says 'surplus mantra' ignores the most vulnerable persons in society, arguing that Muscat's administration is anything but socialist

At a political activity in Mqabba, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said that Muscat's administration was not a socialist one. Despite the 'surplus' mantra, he argued, which reveals a government that is detached from reality, thousands are still suffering from poverty and homelessness.

Delia said that the economy has increased by numbers not quality. "The only way this government can improve the economy is by bringing more and more people to Malta. What's increasing is the total amount of people's spending but not the money in every individual pocket."

Even specialist foreigners, he contended, were finding that Malta was more expensive than any other European city. "There are sectors that are doing well," he said, "but this government is ultimately engendering poverty. There are 3,200 applicants on the waiting list for government housing. These are people who do not have a place to stay."

Poking at the Prime Minister's speech at the Malta Innovation Summit with regards to Artificial Intelligence, Delia said that "before we start speaking of the rights of robots, we need to talk about the rights of flesh and blood."

Corruption

The Opposition Leader made reference to Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination when he said that the opposition was asking for a public inquiry into her murder to ensure that all measures were taken. "We asked the government to treat this motion with urgency but the government decided that there was no such need for urgency."

Delia argued that the repercussions of this murder went far and wide, was leaving imprints abroad. He criticised the government for contributing to an ambience of 'abnormality.' "The Court of Constitutional Appeals," Delia said, "presided over by Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi said that the Caruana Galizia family's rights were disrespected when the police commissioner, Silvio Valletta, spearheading the investigation into the murder was married to a minister." 

Delia argued that despite Chief Justice Azzopardi recommending the police commissioner to be let off the case, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici was simultaneously telling the Times of Malta that there was nothing else to be done with regards to the investigation and the rule of law was present in Malta.

"The government, notwithstanding the fact it that spent millions on the investigation and brought foreign experts to assist in the same investigation, has an obligation to solve this murder," Delia said. "We cannot forget this case."

Delia said that following his presence at a Brussels meeting of the European People's Party, he was disappointed that Malta was always mentioned in such a bad light. "The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development blacklisted Malta for its sale of passports," he said. "It's usually important to not have your country on the grey list, let alone the blacklist. Transparency International also quoted Malta as being a magnet for money laundering activities."

Education

The Opposition Leader criticised the Education Ministry for not involving the Teachers' Union when drafting amendments to the Education Act. "How can you not speak to educators when the legislation will be changing how they operate?"

He argued that the statistics showed that lack of spending in the Education Sector was continuously increasing since 2013. "Spending on education as a proportion of the GDP decreased year after year, from 5.8% to 5.6% to 5.4%." Delia said that this government does not care about education as the PN did throughout the 25 years of tenure before Muscat's administration, building one school per year.

Delia pledged that a PN in government would increase spending in education because in every child, he said, there was a potential that he believed in, a potential to change the world. "Let's believe in blockchain and robotics by all means," he said, "but we first and foremost have to believe in our own children."

Environment

Adrian Delia called out the current administration on its treatment of the environment and said that there was no government before this one that destroyed the environment to such an extent. Despite the new recycling procedures that were in place, he said, it seems that nobody is truly aware of what they are and how they function. "Rubbish is not a problem but an opportunity."

Delia said that Muscat wants Malta to be cosmopolitan. Delia defined this as meaning "completely built up." Delia said he foresees the island becoming a large city, every space occupied and that every piece of land exchanged for greed.

"We are not against progress," Delia said, "but at least, let's make progress sustainable, where the environment is no longer an enemy of progress but an economic motor in itself."

Delia quoted Eurobarometer statistics, placing Malta as 4th most polluted member state. "The government promised us that this would continue when he said he wanted 70,000 more people in this country," Delia said. "More people, more petrol stations on ODZ land, more cars."

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