Carm Mifsud Bonnici, resigned from minister after the vote in favour of the resignation motion, which was moved by the Opposition, and for which government MP Franco Debono voted in favour. Dr Mifsud Bonnici continues to serve as an MP. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi accepted the resignation, and at a press conference given following the vote, said he thanked Dr Mifsud Bonnici for his loyalty, integrity and dedication towards the government and the people – a remark to which the Parliamentary group members applauded. Dr Gonzi said that the Parliamentary group has taken note of the vote and its consequences. He is assuming the responsibilities Dr Carm Mifsud Bonnici had as Minister, Home Affairs and Local Councils, for the time being. Foreign Affairs Minister Tonio Borg was once again given the responsibility of Parliamentary Affairs. Because the vote has political consequences, Dr Gonzi noted that a motion for a vote of confidence in the government was presented before the press conference. This is to be discussed on Monday and he hopes a vote will be taken on the same day. The matter however needs to be discussed with the Opposition as it depends on the number of MPs who would like to speak. Anticipating questions, he said the government faced a similar motion a very short time ago but he still feels this is necessary. In reply to questions, he said further decisions will be communicated following Monday´s outcome and there should not be any hypotheses on what the vote will be. He continued that everyone, including Dr Debono, should shoulder responsibility. Noteworthy is the fact that government backbenchers, often regarded as rebels, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett, were not present. Dr Gonzi answered that the two had already left the House before the group met but they had been contacted and agreed with the decision for a vote of confidence in the government.(independent.com.mt)It was the only thing to do.
President George Abela presents gift to Lithuania’s president
President George Abela was yesterday welcomed by Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania at the Presidential Palace where a painting depicting the city of Valletta by artist Anton Calleja was presented to the President of Lithuania. President Grybauskaite welcomed President Abela and his delegation at Vilnius and remarked that this year marks the 18th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Malta. Eight years ago both countries joined the European Union, becoming partners in a unified area of freedom, democracy and solidarity, stated Mr Grybauskaite. President Abela spoke about the current economic and financial situation and said that this is a serious test for Europe and the World. He also said that the European Union must continue as an example of how to overcome challenges and ensure sustainable growth. President Abela expressed his best wishes to the Lithuanian’s side with regard to Lithuania’s EU presidency in 2013 and also stated that Malta is very keen to work closely and provide support. He also mentioned the challenges that Malta has to face with illegal immigration, mentioning the pilot project of burden-sharing by other countries.(independent.com.mt) Only diplomacy.
'Serene' Mifsud Bonnici says he had prepared for all eventualities
Former minister says he will be candidate at next general election. Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici said today that he was serene when the vote of no confidence was taken in parliament yesterday, and he remained serene because he had prepared himself for every eventuality. Interviewed on Bondi+ the former minister of home affairs said he was serene also in the knowledge that he had done everything he could for the Maltese people. He said he would continue to serve in this legislature as a backbencher and intended to be a candidate for the next general election, if the PN accepted him. Replying to questions by Lou Bondi, Dr Mifsud Bonnici said: "As a minister, I could not do more for the people." Every minster knew that the prime minister could ask him at any day to step down, he said, and in the past four years every morning he told himself that this could be his last day in office and he therefore worked hard to ensure that every day, he did a good job for the country. He was not surprised by Dr Franco Debono's vote, he said, because of his attitude and public declarations. Dr Mifsud Bonnici said he felt that he had upheld the family honour because he sought to be honest, humble and in the service of the people. He did not think that his father Carmelo (Il-Gross, a PN minister of education, the police and finance) and Ugo (a former minister of education, and later president) would have anything to criticise in his behaviour and his ministerial work. Dr Mifsud Bonnici said that whereas in a court of law, a person was presumed innocent until proven guilty, he had found himself in a political situation where everyone had decided how he would vote and then tried to find the evidence to back that decision.(timesofmalta.com) It was to predict.