Watch: Minister walks out of press conference; refuses to answer PN questions
(Adds ministry's reply)
Transport Minister Joe Mizzi walked out of a press conference today after repeatedly refusing to say how many people were still experiencing problems with their tallinja card.
Mr Mizzi was asked numerous times by Nationalist Party media organisation Net News for the number of those still experiencing problems with their card.
He refused to answer saying he would only speak to the media organisation in writing.
Mr Mizzi said he would not trust the journalist asking him the questions to faithfully reproduce his reply as the media organisation had published false news items in the past. He did not specify these "false" stories but said the Nationalist Party media did not know the difference between north and south Korea – a reference to a recent story published in In-Nazzjon.
The minister said he had sent a reply to the organisation after it had incorrectly said he would be visiting North Korea, but his reply was never published.
Mr Mizzi then walked out of the press conference.
Net 'distorts' the truth - ministry
A ministry spokeswoman told timesofmalta.com the minister did not refuse to answer questions but invited Net News to send in their questions via e-mail instead as they would likely “distort the truth as they always do”.
The Times of Malta managed to ask one question before Net News repeatedly asked for the tallinja figure. Mr Mizzi then walked out of the press conference, asking other media if they had questions while ignoring the Net News journalist.
The spokeswoman insisted Mr Mizzi had repeatedly asked if there were any more questions to be asked before walking out.
In a statement this evening, the Nationalist Party deplored the incident.