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Malta should press EU to intervene in Libya - Simon Busuttil

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil this morning urged the government to push the European Union to intervene in Libya in a United Nations led force saying such a position would be much stronger than having just Italy take part in such an intervention.

Speaking during an interview on Radio 101, Dr Busuttil welcomed the Prime Minister’s declaration that he welcomed Italy’s announcement on a possible intervention in Libya but called for a stronger position to be taken.

“The situation in Libya affects us closely and we expect the government to convince the EU that this should be a priority,” he said.

Libya, Malta’s neighbour, had become an anarchy with Islamic State taking over several towns and an EU intervention was in Malta’s interest, he said.

Dr Busuttil also spoke about the HSBC data revealed in Swiss leaks which showed that 71 Malta-based clients held 139 accounts in HSBC Switzerland.

Dr Busuttil said that while it was possible and legal to have an account in a foreign bank as long as tax was paid and the account was declared, the government should see who the Maltese holding such accounts were and investigate whether or not their position was regular.

He said it was not acceptable to have Maltese evading tax or breaching other laws especially if they currently were or had been in a public or political position.

In a statement in the afternoon, the government said it was working to find out who the account holders were. It noted that the existence of such information was first made known in 2010 and the Nationalist government had tried to acquire the information.

This government, it said, was working to get where the previous government did not.

Dr Busuttil also spoke on Malta’s loan to Greece insisting that it should be repaid.

On the high fuel rates, Dr Busuttil said the Maltese were paying more for fuel to make up for the Prime Minister’s failed policy on the power station. The Opposition, he said, continued to demand that the government lowered fuel prices immediately. Retaining high rate was insensitive with the Maltese people and such a situation should not be allowed to drag on.

Dr Busuttil said Enemalta workers had been deceived, they were promised the corporation, now a company, would not be privatised and they were also promised that their take home pay would not change. What the government was doing to Enemalta workers was treacherous, he said.

On the monti’s move to near the new Parliament building, Dr Busuttil said that the government’s actions exposed its low, mediocre standards of “anything will do”.

It took a step back on the stalls, he said, only when the people insisted that they were ugly.

The government, he said, was willing to sell culture for votes.

Dr Busuttil promised that there would be no monti near City Gate or the Parliament project in Ordnance Street under a Nationalist government. If it would be already there, it would be moved.

He denied that the Nationalist Party had ever said the monti would be moved to near the new Parliament and said that even had this been the case, he was the party’s new leader and he did not agree.

The PN was willing to consult with the hawkers to consider other places and possible solutions, such as the closed Valletta market but close to the Piano project was out of the question.

And the party was not alone in its position, it was Dr Muscat who was isolated, he said.

Dr Busuttil also spoke on the GWU’s property that was being rented to ARMS, a government company, allegedly in breach of contract. He criticised the government for allowing this.

He also spoke about illegal works being carried out on a site planned for a school in Mosta asking how could the government expect the people not to breach the law when it was breaching the law itself instead of leading by example.

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