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PM asks Muscat to withdraw energy plan

File photo.

File photo.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi this morning demanded an apology from Labour Leader Joseph Muscat for his "incorrect and unethical" statement linking the Delimara power station to a high incidence of cancer and asthma.

Dr Gonzi accused Dr Muscat of taking advantage of people's emotions and said using cancer patients in this way was "not on".

Speaking during an interview on Radio 101, he said experts had said there was no link of any sort.

"Experts are saying that cigarettes are the main cause of cancer and Malta has one of the least rates of cancer and asthma incidence. He (Dr Muscat) should make a public apology admitting his mistake because it is unethical," Dr Gonzi said.

The Prime Minister also said that Dr Muscat’s energy plan was endangering the country's finances and economy and asked him to withdraw it.

Dr Muscat was too much of a risk for the country, he said, adding that the financial service sector which Dr Muscat was praising was at stake because of the effects of Labour's electoral promises on the country's finances.

"Let us all learn from the past and not trust Labour because our achievements are at stake," he said. 

Dr Gonzi spoke on the findings of a report compiled by auditors KPMG which concluded that tariffs would increase by five per cent with Labour's proposal.

Labour's candidate who was the main spokesman on the proposal, he said, was going round saying he would be Energy Minister if elected so he had a "vested interest" not to listen to criticism and experts who were saying that it was not possible to complete the plan in the established time frame and with that budget. 

He referred to the Standard and Poor's downgrade, saying that Dr Muscat, unlike rebel PN MP Franco Debono, said he agreed with the budget so could have easily voted in its favour.

Dr Gonzi repeated his intention to vote in favour of the budget if in Opposition, if nothing else was added. 

In a statement this afternoon, the PL said that the Prime Minister's declarations that power stations that used the most pollution oils were not detrimental to health were offensive to families and common sense.

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