Gonzi said it is nice to see students celebrating in Malta

In a debate at the PN’s headquarters in Mgarr Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi described the EU Commission’s closing of its infringement procedure against Malta on the Delimara power station extension as“bursting  the bubble” of opposition leader Joseph Muscat.

Gonzi said Malta now has a “guarantee” from the Commission “that the procedures by which we abided for the Delimara power station extension were not incorrect; we abided by EU laws all along. again, the righteous has won (is-sewwa rebah).”

Following no proof of corruption by the Auditor General’s reports and the Commission’s closing of infringement procedures, “the project may go ahead for the benefit of all,” Gonzi said, adding that the Auditor General will answer the questions of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) just the same, “to put everyone’s mind a rest that things were done properly.”

Following the front page of the Times last Thursday which showed Gonzi being carried on students' shoulders compared to student protests in the UK, Gonzi said he was informed halfway through a cabinet meeting about the students outside Castille, and went to greet them when the meeting was over. “It’s nice to see our students celebrating, when it’s clear that other countries are in tougher situations than us.”

He added “In the UK, University tariffs are being raised to three times the amount, whilst here we are still providing stipends and bursaries to our students.”

Asked to comment on Malta’s financial situation compared to other EU countries, Gonzi said “We took tough decisions which might not have been popular at the time, but they were all necessary to weather the storm.”

“Had we listened to what the opposition has been telling us all along, this country would have crashed into a wall a long time ago,” Gonzi said. “the merit not only belongs to government but to everyone- we will continue to act responsibly and consistently. “

Justice minister Carm Mifud Bonnici spoke about the imminent law on a registry for the protection of minors, saying it  was this year’s priority and put “in the fast track in parliament.”

“We have increased the number of crimes and punishments on the registry,” Mifsud Bonnici said. “Crimes are not solely related to sexual abuse but include drug trafficking near schools, trafficking drugs to children, child pornography, prostitution and many others”

“We also gave the power to Court to stop the guilty from finding a job similar to that which landed them to abuse children,” he said. “also, those running schools or organisations will be obliged to report incidents to the Commissioner of police.”

“Children and their innocence is our priority; because we want to see children happy at the most vulnerable stage of their life and we will not allow their childhood to be ruined by their protectors.”

Environment minister George Pullicino called Muscat “immature” for abstaining to attend the inauguration ceremony of St Anthony’s plant in Wied Il-Ghajn held this week.

“We unveiled the lies and failures of the opposition when the plant opened,” Pullicino said. “Muscat tried to deny us €18 million in EU funds but he didn’t manage to stop us- the plant is a monument of determination.”

Pullicino recalled how a resident in Wied Il-Ghajn had shouted at him to resign as minister during a meeting in 2005, held at the plant’s location, but the same man turned up at the inauguration ceremony, showing a sense of maturity. “however, Muscat protested then, and despite being invited to the opening of the plant, he was embarrassed and didn’t turn up,” Pullicino said. “I had hoped he had matured since them, but I was wrong.”

NET  journalist Lara Cassar stated her concerns over mud-slinging in politics, and said that it could discourage and hinder young persons like herself interested in politics from engaging in political activity. on this, Mifsud Bonnici said “We put ourselves out there to do the right thing, and it is what we are doing.”

“We believe in clean politics and on building on the truth- this is how we evolved as a party, and it is for everyone to see,” he said.