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Video: Angry Franco Debono says he is building a new democracy

Video: Paul Spiteri Lucas, Mark Zammit Cordina

Live coverage: Franco Debono explains his vote

The event has now ended, here is a transcript of the live coverage.
  1. 20:48 pmChristopher Scicluna

    Franco Debono rose this evening to explain his vote on the Budget and said he was voting against the Budget and the government because he was building a new democracy where no one was above the law.
    He asked how he could vote on the Budget after the scandals of the Fairmount contract at the dockyard, Arms, the power tariffs, public transport, buses, and the car parks privatisation scandal?
    To vote in favour would be telling the government to continue with this mess.
    There had been corruption in the maritime sector.
    How could he vote with the government when he had presented a motion against the acquisition of St Philip’s which angered society?
    How could be vote for the Budget when the country continued to slide in the corruption perception index but the government took no measures for greater transparency?.
    How could be vote with the government when millions were squandered in gross mismanagement, such as in Wastserv.
    How could he back the government when Austin Gatt was not being held to account?

  2. 20:50 pm

    Austin Gatt needed to account for the high power tariffs, which stemmed from a lack of vision in the energy sector. He had to account for the fact that the power station extension would use polluting heavy fuel oil. He had given Austin Gatt a chance to change when he abstained in the no confidence vote against him. But even the prime minister had ignored Dr Gatt's failure.

  3. 20:51 pm

    (Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett converse as all other MPs listen attentively.)

  4. 20:52 pm

    The prime minister had said that Dr Gatt would leave the Cabinet to run the PN campaign, but he stayed on in Cabinet, and even led action against three MPs.
    Dr Debono said he had repeatedly warned that he would not support the government for as long as Dr Gatt was in Cabinet. He would not support a government which was a clique.

  5. 20:53 pm

    This was a situation of extreme militancy to safeguard the places of the people in the clique.

  6. 20:55 pm

    The internal worry which Dr Gonzi had spoken about in his address stemmed from Dr Gatt. The PN had tried to blame him and two other MPs for the fact that it was trailing in the polls. The three were disciplined but the PN continued to trail.
    After the farse of the planned privatisation of car parks, he had presented a motion of no-confidence in Dr Gatt, but this was not even moved by the government. How could a government present a Budget when it faced a no-confidence motion in one of its ministers?

  7. 20:55 pm

    (A small group of people at the back of St George's Square are listening to Dr Debono address the House on radios and mobile phones.)

  8. 20:57 pm

    Last January, Dr Debono said, he had kept a step back and abstained in a no-confidence vote in the government, but the clique continued to make matters worse and continued to blame others for the government's problems. The government was reduced to a coalition.
    Dr Debono said he was pleased that the government was able to serve out its term. It had been given ample chances to change course, but it did not. It was handed rope, which it put around its neck.

  9. 20:58 pm

    Dr Debono said he had held firm to his principles, despite threats of physical violence.
    A minister should resign if he was guilty of persistent error. One could no longer have a situation where it was those who criticised ministers for their mistakes who suffered.

  10. 20:58 pm

    The Speaker urges Dr Debono to conclude.

  11. 21:00 pm

    Dr Debono said it was the people who created the problems who should go.
    Everyone in Malta had known for a long time that this Budget would not be approved. But no one in the government had spoken to him about the Budget in the past three months.

  12. 21:01 pm

    The government had displayed arrogance despite winning only a relative majority in the last election, and even gave a secret raise for its ministers.
    The Maltese political system lacked checks and balances and was based on contacts, friends and money.

  13. 21:02 pm

    The Budget was not only about the scraps for the few but the millions for those who were well placed.

  14. 21:04 pm

    The Maltese political system had degenerated.
    The people wanted their country back. The country was not the clique of evil, which operated a network of terror and misinformation. At this stage Dr Debono tabled a court sentence which condemned the editor of The Sunday Times. He also described PBS as a PN club.

  15. 21:04 pm

    The Speaker again insisted that Dr Debono could only explain his vote.

  16. 21:05 pm

    Dr Debono said the people did not want charity but their rights and dignity. They had rid themselves of the foreigners and would not be lumped with worse.

  17. 21:07 pm

    Concluding, he said he was placing the foundation stone of a modern democracy which put no one above the law.
    This was a true, modern, European democracy.

  18. 21:07 pm

    The speaker warned he would only allow him a further minute.

  19. 21:07 pm

    Dr Debono said it was his privilege and honour to stop the oligarchy and vote against the Budget.

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