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Hero's welcome for Prime Minister at party's AGM

'I want to look the country in the eye and say the truth'

Video: Ivan Martin

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was given a hero's welcome this evening as he walked into the main hall of the Labour Party headquarters for the party's annual general meeting.

He was greeted with rapturous applause with many shouting "We are behind you" before the whole hall burst into a chorus of "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph".

Addressing the meeting, Dr Muscat said that tonight on Xarabank he would be talking truth not politics as he debates Opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

He thanked Labour supporters for their support."I have deep gratitude to all of you who in these hours have shown your support to my family, my wife and my daughters," he said, prompting applause.

"I have deep gratitude to all of you who in these hours have shown your support to my family, my wife and my daughters," he said, prompting applause.

Tonight's debate will be truth versus lies, he said adding he swore to the people and God he would be saying the truth so he did not need to prepare.

"I want to look the country in the eye and say the truth and put people's minds at rest."

Turning to a point which he said many might not have realised, Dr Muscat quoted new EU figures which showed that while in 2013 the number of people in material deprivation stood at 39,000, the figure had now been halved.

This, he said, was why this movement was created.

"All of those we saved from poverty have a better life today thanks to what we have done.

"So let the attacks and the lies come, our strength lies in the truth and the social progress we have created."

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