Watch: 'Some people believe the earth is flat', Muscat says of Busuttil's Egrant claims
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Watch: 'Some people believe the earth is flat', Muscat says of Busuttil's Egrant claims

PM scorns former opposition leader after Tuesday's angry exchanges

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Sunday compared former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil to a "flat earther" for saying he still believed the Labour leader owned a secret Panama company despite a magisterial inquiry finding no evidence to support the claim.   

Speaking during a political gathering in Gozo, Dr Muscat said he had started to doubt Dr Busuttil's judgement after he told Parliament on Tuesday that he still believed Dr Muscat was the owner of the once-secret offshore company Egrant.  

"Some people adore goats, some people believe the earth is flat, some people even believe Elvis Presley is still alive. Simon Busuttil can believe whatever he wants but when the rest of the country hears these things, they laugh," Dr Muscat said, prompting the Labour Party supporters to burst out in laughter. 

During a heated exchange with Dr Muscat in parliament on Tuesday, Dr Busuttil said he and thousands of other people would continue to hold on to their belief for as long as Dr Muscat retained chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, who had also owned Panama companies set up at the same time as the mystery Egrant.

Dr Muscat said there were some in the Opposition benches who seemed to have "lost the plot", so much so, that he had even lost his temper in the House this week.  

He said it appeared as though his political arch-rival only respected the outcome of inquiries when they seemed to go his way. 

"Well the first of many inquiries has come back and it has found that this [the Egrant allegation] was false and based on lies and forged signatures," he said.  

Dr Muscat said that the day after the magisterial inquiry had been published, there had been members of the Opposition who had contacted him directly to say that Dr Busuttil and a few others did not represent them and their views.  

Read: Egrant inquiry finds falsified signatures, differing testimonies and no proof

Dr Muscat also indirectly referred to recent media reports that had raised concerns over apparent links between Economy Minister Chris Cardona, and one of the three men accused of killing journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.  

He said while he could not verify what had been reported, it transpired that a Maltese media house "not sympathetic to the Labour Party" had today reported that the story was in fact false. 

"I cannot verify this report either," Dr Muscat said, adding that perhaps an inquiry should one day be called to look into who was feeding the foreign media fake information.   

In a glancing swipe at Nationalist MEP David Casa, Dr Muscat said that among those passing on this information had better sort out their personal problems first. 

Mr Casa has denied allegations by a former aide that he had taken drugs. Malta Today quoted an unnamed former aide as saying in a sworn statement that the MEP suffered from a cocaine habit between 2009 and 2017. 

Earlier during his speech, Dr Muscat gave an overview of the government's efforts in the healthcare sector.  

He told listeners how the government had tackled waiting lists and medicine shortages, and that modernising Mater Dei Hospital was a main priority. 

 

 

 

 

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