Addressing thousands who yesterday night flocked to Victoria, Gozo, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi stressed that Gozo always “flourished under a PN government,” and claimed that “almost everything there is in Gozo, is there thanks to the Nationalists.”
Starting off the mass meeting, Lawrence Gonzi inverted the words in his usual opening line – “Huti, Ghawdxin u Maltin”, before highlighting the difference between his party and the MLP.
“Gozo grew and flourished whenever there was a PN government,” reiterated Gonzi insisting that the PN always invested in Gozo’s potential. “We gave you the general hospital in Gozo, the desalination plant, we got you new roads, we built three new vessels investing €40 million; we invested in education; we invested in a School for Drama and Music; we opened a tourism college in Qala; we inaugurated the incubation centre… There’s a university branch in Gozo, modern facilities in the Gozo stadium and the sewage treatment plant,” Gonzi said.
“We are offering a more successful country, a nation that is stronger, a healthier economy; we are offering you an opportunity to boast that you are Maltese and Gozitans!”
The PN leader then said that, conversely, whenever there was a Labour government, Gozo suffered. Lawrence Gonzi insisted that all this happened also on a larger scale and not just in Gozo.
“We spent 22 months under a Labour government. They did attain their politic targets, because they froze Malta’s EU application, they removed the VAT and adopted disastrous policies. We had the highest deficit, unemployment shot up…” Gonzi said, continuously interrupted by the chanting crowd Lawrence Gonzi stated that yesterday night he had just received a message from people who always voted MLP but this election they will trust their vote to the Nationalist Party.
The PN leader insisted that just a few days before 8 March people need to “thrust aside their passion and stop and think. Why is it that when there was a PN government there was work? And why is it that when we had a Labour government there was nothing but unemployment?” questioned Gonzi.
The Prime Minister warned that the Labour Party does not trust the Maltese, in stark contrast with the PN.
Again interrupted by chanting and slogans, Lawrence Gonzi cracked a joke saying: “I’m really tempted to sing along with you, but I’m not going to. I still don’t have that talent. He who thinks he is capable to sing should sing!” clearly referring to MLP Deputy Leader Michael Falzon who chanted ‘unsuccessfully’ with the crowd while addressing thousands at the Granaries, Floriana, two weeks ago.
Lawrence Gonzi then highlighted the negative track record of the MLP, saying that the Labour Party always botched at the critical moment.
“We got Smart City an investment which will bring 5,600 new jobs. If it were up to the MLP, I should have said no to this investment because they said it was land speculation!” said Gonzi.
“There were other moments. I beg you. Take everything in consideration. Weigh everything: what the PN attained and what the MLP did during the past four years,” Lawrence Gonzi stressed that tourism reached a record high and that finances are in good shape.
“Next Saturday remember that MLP’s advice was to devaluate the lira by 10%,” insisted Gonzi. “Alfred Sant’s advice would have meant 10% off from your salaries. They advised me to inflate the cost of living by 10%. What a shame!”
The PN leader reminded his audience that he who would be in government next Monday will have €855 million granted by the EU, to invest.
“10% of this money is budgeted for Gozo!” maintained Gonzi reminding the crowd that from day one of EU membership till 2013, Malta will have benefited from €1,226 million.
“This is what we got! It was the biggest lie when with their partnership they told us that we would get less money!” Gonzi declared.
The Prime Minister reiterated again his promise for a tax-free health sector.
“I repeat this again. I categorically declare that we need to implement the solidarity concept when someone is sick. God forbids if we tax sick people! Till the day I am Prime Minister they can get me as many reports as they want because I won’t ever do this!”
Lawrence Gonzi listed other PN electoral promises including tax cuts and the 2010 target of a surplus budget.
Lawrence Gonzi advised the electorate to remember the above.
“Always remember our credo: we see the nation as one…Maltese and Gozitans as one family. We can grow and grow strongly only if we are together, united as one family.
Lawrence Gonzi said that on 8 March, genuine MLP supporters, those who are still undecided and those who might be hurt, should put the country’s interest first because they will be deciding about the country’s future.
“Trust the PN because it’s only the PN who has faith in the Maltese,” said Gonzi.
Wearing a gold-colourED tie and flanked by Kate, Lawrence Gonzi made a radiant appearance on stage, smiling and looking more energetic than on Sunday. At times tilting slightly forward and resting his right elbow on the podium Gonzi showed confidence all the way through.
Lawrence Gonzi’s speech was constantly interrupted by PN chants. Well done to the youths and to the energetic crowd. These hymns gave ample time for the Prime Minister to quickly gulp down some water and for the journalist locked in the PN clubhouse to munch freshly baked Gozitan ftira. Now that’s what I call solidarity during mass meetings…
During his speech Lawrence Gonzi stated that on the ferry he met two youths who told him that they had just sat for their accounts exam. According to Gonzi these two youngsters thanked him for his premiership. Then Gonzi asked himself whether he could spot these two young people. And voila’! Through the floodlights and thousands of people waving their flags Gonzi claimed that he ‘could see’ these two youths. What a coincidence.
We’re happy to see Giovanna Debono flanked by the newest Gozitan PN hopeful Marthese Portelli, but… what about the Maltese PN candidates? Didn’t Dr Gonzi just tell us that “Maltese and Gozitans are one family?” So where were the Maltese cousins?