Airport closure delayed for Muscat’s sake, Thake insists in maiden speech


Newly-elected MP David Thake insisted that incoming flights were kept going this week so that one person – former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat – could return to Malta from London, questioning how many cases of coronavirus infection may be due to a delay in stopping flights.

As he began his maiden speech in Parliament, Thake – who was sworn in a week ago – thanked the health authorities for keeping the public informed about the crisis, specifically thanking the Health Minister in the process. But he later said that he wished to speak about another ‘disease’ affecting Malta; the disease of “Muscat, (Keith) Schembri and (Konrad) Mizzi.

Earlier this week, MP Jason Azzopardi had raised questions about a trip that Muscat had taken to Miami, and on Facebook today, he questioned why Malta’s airport had not been closed before Muscat’s arrival to Malta, via London. In Parliament, Thake followed up his colleague’s remarks.

Lil dawk kollha li ddiehku bija, qalghuli l-oqbra ta’ familti, ghajruni b’aggettivi li lanqas kont naf li jezistu…

Posted by Jason Azzopardi on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

He questioned why flights were allowed to keep running, particularly from London, which he described as a cosmopolitan city in which not enough tests for coronavirus were being carried out.

“This virus can’t swim: if we isolated ourselves, this virus would not have arrived,” he said. “But the Prime Minister allowed flights to operate and kept the airport open, so that one person named Joseph Muscat could come to Malta.”

Schembri condemned for remarks on foreign workers

Thake also criticised Economy Minsiter Silvio Schembri, who yesterday said in Parliament that foreigners on work permit who lost their job as a result of the coronavirus outbreak would be asked to leave the country.

“That is all he is capable of doing. This government brings you here, uses you and disposes of you,” he said.

The MP argued that this statement signalled that the minister was already giving up on addressing potential job losses, before calling for strong measures to address the economic impact of the pandemic.