“Let us build a caring Malta together. We believe in the same values. We believe in Malta that fights corruption, hate and inequalities.”
This was the vision of a caring Malta that Dr Adrian Delia, leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista, proposed to his supporters while addressing a mass meeting on the Granaries, Floriana, as part of the party’s celebrations of Malta’s independence.
He recounted the story of a number of people whom he met and then proceeded to build his vision for a caring Malta on their experiences. He spoke of the Gozitan student whose rent was tripled; the homeless person who goes from one public convenience to another to wash himself; the woman with fibromyalgia who receives no help from government; an autistic child who regularly speaks to him about his needs and the victims of domestic violence who are extremely vulnerable. All these problems exist, said Delia with a touch of irony, today that is described by the government as the ‘best of times’.
Pillars of a caring society
The leader of the PN promised to build a society that respects the right to life and dignified living conditions. He said that besides protecting the rights of the unborn the PN wants to safeguard the dignity of members of the LGBTIQ community who are not always respected. Delia mentioned those suffering from solitude, having no one to care for them; the 70,000 in the risk of poverty; the 14,000 who cannot buy a second pair of shoes and persons living in garages or derelict buildings. It is not enough to have a thriving economy if its benefits do not filter down to those in need, said Delia.
“We don’t want an underclass. We don’t want one Malta for the rich and one for the poor.”
Jana Mintoff whom government chose as a consultant on problems related to poverty, said Delia, accused government of creating a new kind of poverty because its economic policies are built on cheap labour.
This problem added Delia was exaggerated because government was purposely sending people inflated utility bills. “It first robbed the people by purposely overcharging them and now it sends a tiny cheque to compensate.” He committed a new Nationalist government to refund people the extra money they were forced to pay.
The environment featured at different stages of his address. He lambasted the government which, he said, has ruined the environment. He considers the environment as the motor of new economic initiatives and proposed that Malta should strive to be the first country in the world with cars that do not pollute. We should not live in a country which has the worst air in Europe, he said.
We are not against foreigners
The leader of the PN stressed that his party was not against foreigners but was also all for the safeguarding of the Maltese identity. A Nationalist government would respect all international obligations to respect the lives of people in danger of drowning but at the same time our frontiers have to be safeguarded. He criticised Prime Minister Muscat who wants to import 70,000 foreign immigrants without having a proper plan to manage this influx.
Delia said that people do not feel safe at home. “It is not safe to walk the streets under Labour. Walk with us. We will make Malta safe again, Delia promised.
Simon Busuttil absent and ignored
While several MPs who are considered to be critical of the leadership of Adrian Delia were present at the mass meeting, Simon Busuttil was conspicuous by his absence highlighting the divisions in the Partit Nazzjonalista. This absence was reciprocated by the Secretary General of the PN, Clyde Puli, who thanked previous leaders but omitted any reference to Busuttil. Adrian Delia chose to speak of PN Prime Ministers thus avoiding the need to mention Simon Busuttil.