Muscat: The government has imploded and collapsed
Labour leader Joseph Muscat said this evening that as predicted, the government had imploded and collapsed.
Lawrence Gonzi had today confirmed how much time had been wasted for the country. What had happened today had been obvious for a long time but Dr Gonzi, instead of solving the problem, continued to cling to the seat of power.
The Opposition had warned that this attitude would lead to more serious problems, but the prime minister carried on. He preferred Austin Gatt instead of stability in the country.
Dr Gonzi had lost his majority five times in the House. The government was reduced to a coalition and it now collapsed.
Dr Gonzi had divided a party and destroyed the government, Dr Muscat said.
The country now needed somebody who could unite it, not divide it. In his address in parliament, Dr Gonzi had aimed to divide, but the Opposition would not fall for that tactic, he said.
Dr Muscat said that the electoral campaign would start on January 7 as agreed between the parties. Labour would respect that agreement except for a few political activities which would be held until next Sunday.
He pointed out that the government was now a caretaker one so it could only carry out the day to day business. Permanent Secretaries should see that this is done.
At this point, Dr Muscat was informed that the Prime Minister had just announced the date of the election. He said this again confirmed that the Prime Minister had, yet again, put the interests of his party before the country.
Dr Muscat also said that it was not Dr Debono who had brought down the government but Austin Gatt because he had hijacked the Nationalist Party.
Dr Muscat said that during the electoral campaign there was to be an important EU summit which could decide the EU's new budget. He said he wanted to make it clear that the Opposition would support the government's position in the negotiations but asked for the Opposition to be consulted.
Asked for his proposal on how he would reduce the water and electricity, which he had promised he would give once the election date was announced, Dr Muscat said that as the campaign was start on January 7 he would give his proposal then.
Asked what would be his position on case of Mr Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco, who is embroiled in an Olympic ticketing controversy, if the Commission for the Administration of Justice advised he should be impeached, Dr Muscat said he would like to keep a distinction between politics and the judiciary but would follow the advise of the commission.