Country achieving excellent results - Gonzi
The Nationalist Party has always believed in Gozo and, over the last few years, the government had invested heavily in the education sector because this will guarantee a future for the island's citizens, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday.
Speaking during party activity at a hotel in Gozo, Dr Gonzi said the government had invested over €6.3 million in the modernisation of several schools in Gozo and in extensions at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (Mcast). The government had invested over €70 million in Mcast and is planning to invest another €115 million to build a new Mcast campus.
Another €7 million were being earmarked for the development of a college on the sister island, he added.
Dr Gonzi drew a comparison with what the Labour Party had managed to achieve in the education sector in the 22 months it spent in office between 1996 and 1998. During that time, he said, investment and projects in Gozo had dried up drastically.
Two years ago, Labour had wanted to devalue the Maltese lira by 10 per cent.
Were it for the MLP, the Smart City project would not have come to Malta because, according to the party in opposition, this project is mere land speculation.
Dr Gonzi spoke about the government's vision for the years up to 2015 and about how the country was achieving excellent results. At present there was the largest number of employed workers and a low figure of people registering as unemployed. The tourism industry was registering record arrivals.
The sewage treatment plant in Gozo inaugurated on Saturday will lead to cleaner seas, he said.
Without mentioning a date for the general election, the Prime Minister said this is a time when people must reflect on the past and judge the Nationalist Party on what it has managed to achieve for the country. He was confident, he said, that people will choose the PN again to continue building on the successes of the past.
In reaction to Dr Gonzi's comments, the MLP said it was not true that Gozo has improved under the PN Administration. National Statistics Office data shows that Gozo's contribution to the country's economic growth stood at 1.7 per cent between 2004 and 2006, the lowest in the past eight years.
While the number of unemployed in Gozo now stood at below 500, this figure was regularly above the 600 mark over the past four years.
The MLP said the helicopter service has not been available since November 2006.
It said the newly-inaugurated sewage treatment plant was completed two years late and cost nearly twice original estimates.