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Gonzi: PL promises undermine financial stability

Published January 7

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi told supporters in the PN's first campaign rally this evening that the PL was making irresponsible promises which would undermine financial stability.

Speaking at PN headquarters, Dr Gonzi said the consequences of Labour's promises would be much more serious than in 1996, when it removed VAT and put government finances in turmoil.

Malta would be rendered a beggar like neighbouring countries that had to take tough austerity measures in order to be able to borrow from the IMF. Those countries had seen civil servants dismissed, health services scaled back and children allowances removed.

"I promise that I will never allow my country to be reduced to that state, to be humiliated in that way," Dr Gonzi said.

Therefore, promising 'A Secure Future' was not just a (PN election) slogan, it was a commitment, Dr Gonzi said.

The people should not take risks but stick to the government and its proven record, he said.

Earlier, he said the government was proud of the results it had achieved in difficult times and was confident it could do even better in better times.

That was why the PN was going for the election confident that it could and should win it.

"I race to win," Dr Gonzi said to applause.

"We have a bright future ahead of us," he added.

Dr Gonzi urged his listeners to compare the situation in Malta with that of neighbouring countries and underlined the role which the EU had played in safeguarding its members and helping them out of the crisis.

The EU, he said, was now better prepared for economic growth, and this meant more work and jobs for Malta.

"We have to be prepared to grasp the opportunities coming our way," he said, pointing out that the scenario had also changed on the southern Mediterranean rim and the dictators had been consigned to history.

The first hours of the electoral campaign had already brought out differences between the political parties, Dr Gonzi said. The PN was speaking about the future, a secure future based on jobs, health and education, while Labour was focused on gimmicks and meaningless billboards.

He said a future PN government would remain committed to job creation and to creating the right business environment to encourage investment, both major and small.

Dr Gonzi also reiterated the PN's commitment to a free, quality health service and an education system which was the cherry on the cake of the PN's achievements.

One could remember what Labour did when the people trusted it 'for five minutes' in 1996 and stipends became loans, he said. Those people, including Evarist Bartolo, were still there and could not be trusted in government.

He said the PN also remained committed to helping the vulnerable, including the disabled, those with housing problems, those who were abused, among others.

The rally was also addressed by PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil and Secretary General Paul Borg Olivier.

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