PL supports Borg's nomination but it will not be a walkover - Muscat
Labour’s MEPS will be working in Brussels to support Malta’s nomination of Tonio Borg for EU Commissioner, PL leader Joseph Muscat said this morning.
Speaking on Ghandi X’Nghid, Dr Muscat insisted he supported the Prime Minister’s decision. However, he again warned that Dr Borg’s appointment would not be a plain sailing walkover.
This was because of certain declarations Dr Borg made in the past, Dr Muscat said. He clarified that abortion was not the issue as all Maltese political parties were against abortion - the problem was more his declarations on gay rights and other positions he had taken. Dr Borg, Dr Muscat said, was to have a tough time convincing.
For even though one had a right to his own opinions, when one was European Commissioner one was bound to a charter and if consumers were to be treated in the same way, one could not distinguish on the basis of sexual orientation. As the head of the socialist group had said, Dr Borg should expect a tough but fair grilling.
Asked about the John Dalli case, Dr Muscat said that the issue had done a lot of damage to Malta, irrespective of who was right or wrong.
A Maltese man, he said, was being faced with an accusation and it was better to wait until things were made clear to pronounce oneself.
For it was not yet clear how things were being done and clarity was needed.
Asked about a statement made this week by Labour MP Helena Dalli, Dr Muscat clarified that a new Labour government would not embark on a campaign of cutting heads.
Dr Dalli had only asked how certain people in senior positions had been appointed.
Dr Muscat said he wanted to assure continuity and while justice would be made with those who had long been suffering injustices, this would not be done by creating new injustices.
On the St Philips issue, he said that he did not care who this hospital belonged to and if the government managed to convince the opposition that this was the best option for Malta, he would support it.
The government originally did not want to go to the Public Accounts Committee before signing the deal but last Wednesday it made a positive U-turn and said it would.
He said that there were a number of questions which had to be answered, such as whether the cost to refurbish St Luke’s had been calculated and if other options had been considered.
On the power station issue, Dr Muscat said that while the Finance Minister was saying one thing, the Prime Minister was saying another.
The Prime Minister had said that BWSC had accepted full responsibility for the damages that the country would face but the Finance Minister said that the cost of the damages was still being evaluated and this was expected to be contested by BWSC in court.
He said BWSC would face a fine of €1.6 million every week starting on November 7 if the turbine was not fixed in time. This was capped at €24 million, at which point the government had the option of asking for a full refund.
There were also other expenses that had not yet been calculated, such as how this would affect Malta in terms of its emissions targets and the fines the country would be charged as well as the cost of fuel which would have to be bought for Marsa.