Speaking at a Labour Party activity at Limestone Heritage in Siggiewi, Prime Minister and Labour party leader Joseph Muscat paid tribute to the persons massacred at Christchurch mosques in New Zealand.
He said he was shocked when he saw that the gunman had inscribed Malta and the date 1565 on his rifle’s barrel. That was a historical reference, Dr Muscat said, and history cannot be denied. But the 1565 event was because Malta was attacked, not because Malta attacked anyone. And today Malta is inclusive and welcomes everybody.
Dr Muscat went on to speak about the participation of Maltese competitors in the people with special needs competition event in Abu Dhabi which he visited last week.
These children not only competed but also won medals, Dr Muscat said, praising their keenness and preparation. He had tried to compete with some of them and lost badly, he said.
He is always ready to budget more sums for sports whenever people really want to compete. In this regard, he praised the girls football team who competed and won.
It is highly significant that the Abu Dhabi event highlighted the emergence of Maltese children with special needs. Dr Muscat praised the past PN administration for doing much to help children with disabilities including taking the courageous step of getting such children out of special schools and integrating with mainline schooling. This decision made such children emerge from the basements in which they had been relegated previously. He praised in a special way Lawrence Gonzi and Louis Galea.
Malta’s progress in this regard attracted praise by Timothy Schreiber, nephew of President John F Kennedy.
Having praised the PN in the first part of his speech, Dr Muscat swiftly passed on to criticising PN especially for claiming that Malta is getting rave reviews by credit ratings because it has bought them out. He urged the PN to get its act together, as it is still not a credible Opposition.
With the extra money it is generating, the present government can do up roads, and purchase medicines where previously there was no money.
The fourth call for special government bonds for the over-60s where each applicant had to be over 62 and invest up to €10,000 saw no less than €100 million being pledged. This is a huge vote of confidence in the government.
The government has just closed remedying a PN mistake as regards car registration going back to 2010 where government took both registration tax and VAT. After resisting calls by the Opposition to change this, it was only when the EU intervened that the PN government changed the system but it did not want to return the tax it had taken.
The PL, then in Opposition, collected signatures and people queued round the block to register. Still, the PN refused to believe people would get a refund. But they did get a refund and it was only in the past days that the government issued its last refund.
29,000 families got refunds totalling €24 million.
Now government is planning to switch Malta from fuel-driven cars to electric cars. This will be in line with what is being prepared in Europe and Malta will once again be in the forefront.
Original article found on The Malta Independent