Government should control Air Malta, not necessarily through majority shareholding – PN

Air Malta

Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil said that he believes that the Maltese government needs to keep the control of the national airline, not necessarily through a majority shareholding.

Replying to questions by The Malta Independent, Dr Busuttil said that the government needs to understand the role of Air Malta in the local economic sector. When asked if he agrees with Joseph Muscat that the government needs to have the majority shareholding of the company, Dr Busuttil said there are ways by which the government can have control of a company without being a majority shareholder. He said the government should then be open for private investment.

Dr Busuttil said that the national airline needs to stay and said that his party, over the last 12 months, the PN has presented a number of proposals to help safeguard the national airline. He said the government should have concluded the restructuring plan by the previous administration for Air Malta.

The leader of the Nationalist Party this morning presented the proposals for the economic sector. Simon Busuttil presented two sets of proposals. The first set addressed the first priorities for the consolidation of the local economy. A second set is about the new economic sectors which need to be created.

Dr Busuttil said that the first immediate priorities for the economy will be to rebuild Malta’s reputation as a safe and just country. This was mentioned earlier this week.

He said that he looks forward for 4 June and to have the occasion to speak at an EU Presidency event and tell them that now there is a new government. He promises the immediate removal of the police commissioner, appoint a new one and have him start investigations into the cases related to the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

Dr Busuttil has pledged that a new PN government will consolidate the financial service sector. Another priority will be to upgrade the telecommunication sector with an ultra-high speed internet. Improving the connectivity with internet backbones across Europe and north Africa is key, he said.

The PN believes that the maritime and aviation sector have to become priority.

Dr Busuttil explained that he wants Malta to be the first country to offer business services digitally. He referred particularly to public procurement. Dr Busuttil said that a PN government would create a digital platform for public procurement which is more transparent.

He also pledges to have 25% of all government procurement from small businesses.

Asked by this newspaper on the child care proposals presented by the GWU, so that these are open freely on weekends as well, the PN leader said that he is proposing free child care services for all during the week, but is willing to keep an open mind on the possibility of introducing it for weekends as well.

On the Egrant inquiry, he said the police chosen in the inquiry have a conflict of interest. A magistrate needs police but there is a conflict, he said as on one side they need to help the magistrate, on the other hand, these are the same people who knew about the case but did nothing.

“This could end up being perversion of justice. Our police commissioner is surrounded by people who did not want to act,” he added while claiming there are people in Castille who are aiding in this cover-up.

 

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