Muscat brands Gonzi 'irresponsible'

Joseph Muscat signs a biography by Cyrus Engerer at the end of a speech in Lija.

Joseph Muscat signs a biography by Cyrus Engerer at the end of a speech in Lija.

Joseph Muscat this evening accused the Prime Minister of irresponsibility when he was not clear on the removal of succession duty as announced in the Budget.

The Labour leader said that Lawrence Gonzi told his party newspaper on Sunday that succession duty on property transferred by parents to children on inheritance or donation would be completely removed.

"But then in The Sunday Times the Finance Minister clarified that this referred to the primary residence only," Dr Muscat said, adding that the Budget projections proved Dr Gonzi wrong and his Finance Minister right.

Speaking to supporters in Lija, where he was given a warm welcome, Dr Muscat again asked Dr Gonzi whether he got to know for the first time about the oil buying scandal on Sunday. It was the same question Dr Muscat posed during a meeting in Rabat on the same day.

Dr Muscat said talks on a gas pipeline had started in 1997 by then Foreign Minister George Vella with his Libyan and Italian counterparts. The talks continued under the subsequent Nationalist administration, he said, but then a decision was taken to go for fuel oil instead of gas.

Dr Muscat said it was rich for the PN spokesmen to scaremonger on Labour's proposed LNG terminal when the PN had been planning to build a floating gas terminal that supplied "all of Europe".

He again asked Dr Gonzi whether he was sure that all Enemalta reports were published, without elaborating on what reports he was referring to.

Dr Muscat concluded his speech with an appeal to people of all political hues to "join the movement". He said Malta had a major challenge in 2017 when it would  assume  the EU presidency. He urged people to present a united front.

"Together we will ensure our country makes a success of this challenge... Come with us, join us," he said to rousing applause.




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