Prime Minister recalls being pelted in Senglea in 1986

A young supporter greets the Prime Minister in Senglea yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

A young supporter greets the Prime Minister in Senglea yesterday. Photo: Jason Borg

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday urged people not to put the country’s achievements at risk by electing Labour, which he said had always given the wrong advice.

Speaking to supporters in Senglea, he recalled his first corner meeting, held in 1986 in the same town, when Labour supporters had pelted him.

“Look how things have changed. Who ever dreamt that we will have cruise liners and an international yacht marina here,” he said.

Addressing undecided voters at home, Dr Gonzi urged first-time voters to concentrate on the need to find a job after graduating. After all the mass meetings, people would have to return to their normal lives and employment would be the main issue, he said.

Dr Gonzi lambasted the Labour leader for advising the country to follow in Cyprus’ footsteps. Dr Muscat had tried to mask the failure of this suggestion by saying Cyprus’ economic woes were due to a power station explosion, Dr Gonzi said, adding: “Isn’t that also what Dr Muscat is proposing?”

The Prime Minister also slammed Dr Muscat’s criticism of the shipyard’s closure. He then poked fun at the fact that Dr Muscat toured many businesses that were doing well only to come back and say they were doing badly.

Deputy leader Simon Busuttil urged voters to focus on the bigger picture even if they had been genuinely hurt by issues that affected them individually.

He said the PN Government got the big issues right but manypeople remained hurt and with good reason. “What I tell you is that I am here for you today and I will be here for you after March 9,” he said, adding that Dr Gonzi had appointed him to address the issues that had not been given their due priority. Dr Busuttil warned that if Labour was elected, the crucial things would go wrong and this would affect everything else.

Earlier, Tourism Minister Mario de Marco said Malta has achieved one tourism record after another despite five tough years for the industry. Tourism created 3,500 new jobs in five years but Labour’s plan to place Air Malta within the tourism minister’s portfolio would put this in jeopardy because it could tempt the minister into taking decisions that might make sense for Air Malta but not the tourism industry.


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