Foundations are in place for the future – Gonzi
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said he was “confident” about the country’s future because the strong foundations in place were adequate to meet upcoming challenges.
“We have an infrastructure for the future’s challenges,” he said during a recorded interview on party-owned Radio 101.
Even though past years were “very difficult”, Malta saw a record in tourism figures last year and, so far, every month this year was better than the same period last year.
Operators in the tourism industry said the situation was looking good and that things were moving ahead, he said.
The financial services sector was having problems finding qualified Maltese accountants and was hiring people from the Philippines. Operators had turned to Dr Gonzi, asking for help because the work permits were taking time to be processed.
“I told the operators that I would prefer if Maltese people would be given these jobs but not enough accountants are graduating to keep up with the demand,” he said.
Malta would become one of the best centres of IT in the region, especially in the digital gaming sector, and a new campus for biomedical research was being built next to Mater Dei Hospital, Dr Gonzi added.
“I’m confident as long as the right decisions are taken,” he said.
Turning to the Labour Party, Dr Gonzi said the people had to judge the government and the opposition “on what we do and not what we say”.
Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant had “ruined” the country with 33 taxes and raised utility bills when the price of oil was low, all that in 22 months of government.
Dr Gonzi admitted that he was “disgusted” by recent comments made by Labour international secretary Alex Sceberras Trigona who wrote that the government was no longer democratic.
Dr Gonzi said Dr Sceberras Trigona had no credentials to speak about democracy, especially since he formed part of a Labour government that had lost a majority but insisted on remaining in power.
These arguments were endorsed by Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat who described them as “academic”. “We don’t need these messages from people with no democratic credentials,” Dr Gonzi said.