More Socialist Governments for More Transparent Europe - Former Bulgarian PM
From The Times of Malta
More socialist prime ministers and governments were needed in Europe so that it would become more transparent and closer to the people, former Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said this evening.
Speaking during the Labour Party's general conference, he said:
"I am here to express my support to your fight and to your courage to say there is a different way of doing things. Malta can be better and people can have greater security for their jobs and families. But this will only happen if there is a government which is socially sensitive and has a clear vision," he said.
Mr Stanishev said it was only natural that present governments were playing on people's fears "because their fear is that they would lose power". They play on people's fears by saying that if they were not in power, the country would be in chaos.
He warned the Maltese not to fall for people saying that Joseph Muscat was too young to become Prime Minister or that he was not experienced.
"They did the same with me when I was just 38 and embarked on the electoral campaign. But we won and in four years in government we delivered. We doubled pensions, lowered taxes and reduced the country's debt by two thirds, now standing at 15 per cent of GDP. Joseph is well known in Europe and he has a strong and united party with a mix of experience and wisdom of the older generation and energy of the younger generation, giving hope to the people of Malta," he said to loud applause.
He spoke about the crisis which he said was brought about by "speculative capitalism and greed" and joked about the Renzo Piano project and the salary increases for ministers.
"In Bulgaria, the government says it doesn't have money to pay people's wages and make up for price increases but it has enough money for a new exhibition hall. Does this remind you of anything? In Bulgaria the government is increasing by ?70 million salaries of the central administration. Does this remind you of anything? It is good that Joseph and Labour MPs are opposing this. I think it is fair."
He praised the party for the slogan it chose for the general conference: a country that our children deserve, adding that he was confident that the party had the right plans for a stronger economy and more sustainable and ensure that the average people benefit from economic growth.
Deputy leader Anglu Farrugia also addressed the conference. He mentioned the Parliamentary reply given that MITA was renting out private property, for 28,000 euros a month and said that the government was doing this whenit had a lot of vacant properties including in Valletta.
He also criticised the fact that 1.3 million euros had been paid out to Renzo Piano for his plans for Valletta.
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