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Social Democrats president endorses Joseph Muscat

Hannes Swoboda

Hannes Swoboda

Labour leader Joseph Muscat was promised the “support and solidarity” of the European Parliament’s social democrats this morning if he were to be elected Prime Minister.

In a ringing endorsement of his candidature, Austrian MEP and social democrat group president Hannes Swoboda said he had “very high” expectations of his former MEP colleague Dr Muscat, who he praised for his calmness and determination.

“He knows what he wants, he knows how European institutions work and he is well-respected. If Joseph Muscat is elected he will have a growing family of social democrats in Europe behind him,” Mr Swoboda told One TV.

Mr Swoboda said a Labour victory would be a “double-edged sword” for social democrat grouping, since it would likely mean losing PL MEPs Louis Grech and Edward Scicluna – seated, together with fellow MEP Joseph Cuschieri, to Mr Swoboda’s left and right  - to local politics.

While PL deputy leader Mr Grech said that a PL government would push for more economic growth initiatives within the European sphere, Prof. Scicluna argued that Labour was eager to introduce a more consultative form of politics to the local scene.

“Politics at the European level is about compromise and taking other perspectives on board, and I believe we can bring this to local politics,” he said.

Mr Grech agreed. “We are not miracle makers, but we can bring about change. The Nationalists want to use spin and campaign negatively, but we won’t change our strategy because of them.”

Mr Cuschieri said the PN was trying to frighten people by “playing the experience card as the last straw”, but said he had full faith in Dr Muscat at the helm. “March 9 is just the beginning,” he said.  “If the PL is elected, the real work will only have started.”

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