Muscat lambasts reports on ODZ applications
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Muscat lambasts reports on ODZ applications

Accuses media of trying to throw people off a tangent

Media reports on applications in Outside Development Zones try to anger people and throw them off a tangent, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told supporters on Wednesday.

Several applications on ODZ sites have attracted controversy over the past years, as environmentalists become more aware of the limited land available.

However, Dr Muscat said the government should not be judged by the applications submitted to the Planning Authority. “As if we can stop them,” Dr Muscat said.

Addressing a political event in Żabbar, Dr Muscat lambasted reports that a site selection exercise had selected Xgħajra for land reclamation. The Environment Resources Authority report had not yet been concluded when it was leaked, the Prime Minister said, adding it was untrue there would be any development in the area.

'Maltese disgusted by PN MEPs'

The Prime Minister also said Maltese people were disgusted by PN MEPs and how they were not afraid to throw Malta under the bus, Dr Muscat said.

"We don’t want MEPs who are a government fan club,” Dr Muscat said. The Maltese should try to send a message to those who try to undermine Malta and who should know better, he said.

The only way we have to fight this is not through hate, or by posting on Facebook, but by voting, Dr Muscat said.

We don’t want our MEPs to be a government fan club- Joseph Muscat

He reiterated that the move by the Nationalist Party not to field enough candidates in over 20 localities was an "insult". "They are sending a message that they want to sedate those who vote Labour. But it was a far bigger insult to Nationalist voters of the south," he said.

He also said he had spoken to investors who had said they came to Malta after hearing about the country from those of Maltese descent.

The dean of the Barts Medical School said he had heard of the school by a Maltese doctor in London that had visited him. This person – a certain Dr Aquilina - contacted the Maltese government and this eventually led to the agreement to build a medical school in Gozo.

Another American investor that had come to Malta to manufacture a video game had also heard about the country from a person of Maltese descent, Dr Muscat said.

"I am inspired by these people,” Dr Muscat said, adding they worked to promote Malta without expecting anything in return.

This was vastly different to the attitude of Nationalist MEPs who were being paid by the Maltese taxpayer only to try to undermine the country, he said.

He said he did not mind promoting Malta and did not mind being called a salesman, since his job was to go abroad and bring investment to the country.

PN repeating Egrant mistake - PM

Turning to the Egrant saga, Dr Muscat said the Nationalist party had no arguments and the PN had now realised that jumping on the bandwagon of the Egrant allegations was a mistake.

However, Dr Muscat said, now that another election had come around it was repeating the same mistake.

Dr Muscat blasted the negativity of the PN’s campaign, saying they were cut off from people and did not realise how one word could be insensitive and hurt others.

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