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Updated - Gonzi: 'Committed to reducing W&E bills' - Muscat reacts

Updated - Adds Joseph Muscat's reaction

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi insisted today that the government was committed to reducing water and electricity bills.

Asked whether the PN was committed to reducing water and electricity bills through its eventual conversion of the power station to gas, Dr Gonzi said: "We have been saying this. We are proposing to have a gas pipeline to deliver gas to our power station, funded partly be the EU and partly through private investment. Labour has now chosen a different alternative and I would like to know why."

In his comments, made to journalists in Berlin, where he met Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dr Gonzi said he was "flabbergasted" by the fact that Labour's energy proposals were dependent on two government projects which Labour had been criticising for the past five years: the interconnecter and the Delimara power station extension.

He said the Nationalist Party would be giving its detailed reactions on Labour's proposals during a press conference tomorrow.

He said the PN had long said Labour's plans would create a financial hole and the proposals for a gas terminal showed that they would increase dramatically.

"This means they will have ships coming in and out instead of a fixed pipeline," he said.

He said it was also interesting that Labour was refusing to publish all its reports and details and failing to say which investors it had met, when the meetings were held and what was agreed formally or informally.

The PN, he said, would publish its own reports and details in the coming days.

(Hear Dr Gonzi's comments here Prime Minister's comments (.mp3 file))

JOSEPH MUSCAT'S REACTION

In a reaction, Labour leader Joseph Muscat, speaking in Mqabba,  said the Nationalist Party was panicking.

"First they told us it is impossible to lower utility bills, then they told us our proposal is a gimmick and now they are saying they will do they same," Dr Muscat said.

Prime Minister's comments
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