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Muscat should speak up on business links – Busuttil

Nationalist deputy leader Simon Busuttil yesterday declined to answer questions about the PN’s reluctance to publish its accounts from 2004 onwards, saying Labour was trying to shift attention from accusations it faced about links with contractors.

Speaking at Pavi supermarket in Qormi, Dr Busuttil said he had yet to hear Labour leader Joseph Muscat’s response to allegations that his party was “too close” to big business.

The claims were made by Dr Muscat’s former deputy, Anġlu Farrugia, in an interview with The Sunday Times.

Dr Muscat first refused to comment and later said the party had “no hidden agenda”.

He called on the Prime Minister to publish all PN accounts since Lawrence Gonzi assumed party leadership in 2004.

Dr Busuttil yesterday reiterated a pledge to publish the PN’s electoral campaign accounts, but added: “People want to know what the man who might be Prime Minister in a month’s time makes of the serious accusations that big contractors are dictating Labour’s policy.

“Instead, I’m asked a question that ignores the seriousness of it all.”

Dr Busuttil, who is an MEP, voiced optimism about today’s summit to negotiate the EU’s 2014-2020 budget, saying Malta had received €1.3 billion since joining in 2004. EU budget talks have been assailed with problems, most recently when a European Parliament delegation walked out last November.

Dr Busuttil had praised the owners and management of Pavi supermarket, which spans 16,000 square metres and employs 264 people, saying they had done a “tremendous” job.

“The PN has always given businesses room to grow and prosper.

“We’ve created 20,000 jobs over the past five years and will need to create another 25,000 over the coming five.”

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