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USA UK and Malta News
24/01/2012 - 23:27

Malta news: Needless confidence

Malta news: Needless confidence - Libyan Mirages: Libyan army heads thank Malta as jets formally returned - Muscat discusses possible outcomes of no-confidence vote - Needless confidence motion amounts to democratic fraud - de Marco.

Malta news: Needless confidence
Libyan Mirages: Libyan army heads thank Malta as jets formally returned
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi looks on as Brigadier Sager Adam Al Giroshi, Chief of the Libyan Air Forces, yesterday inspected one of the Mirage F1 fighter jets brought to Malta by the two Libyan pilots that defected at the early stages of the Libyan revolution, on 21 February, 2011. The two Libyan jets which ended up in Malta after their pilots defected early into the Libyan revolution last year were formally handed over to Libya yesterday, although their actual return will have to wait a while longer. The French-built Dassault Mirage jets were disarmed and disabled soon after their dramatic flight to Malta on 21 February, 2011, when the two high-ranking pilots flying them – Col Ali al Rabti and Col Abdullah al Salheen – decided to defy orders by the Muammar Gaddafi-led regime to bomb a small village, four days after the Libyan revolution began. Instead, the two pilots defected to Malta, flying low to avoid radar detection and informing the Maltese authorities only a few miles away from Malta. The news made world headlines, and provided further proof that the Libyan regime was targeting civilians indiscriminately. The two jets are in need of a major overhaul to ensure their airworthiness before they are returned. The aim is to either return them on the anniversary of the revolution – 17 February – or the anniversary of the defection four days later, although it is not yet certain that either deadline will be met.(independent.com.mt)

Muscat discusses possible outcomes of no-confidence vote
Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat opened the debate on the motion of no confidence in the government with a brief, calm and slow-paced speech in Parliament yesterday evening, saying that irrespective of numbers and votes, politically it is clear that the government is in a state of crisis. He discussed the possible outcomes of the vote, saying that the only clear result would be one whereby the motion is defeated by the government’s side. Earlier yesterday, disgruntled MP Franco Debono said he may abstain, instead of voting against, in the vote on the no-confidence motion, which is due to take place on Thursday at noon. In Parliament, other Nationalist MPs spoke of the significant progress made in a number of sectors and criticised the Opposition for failing to give a reason for presenting the no-confidence motion in the government. Backbencher Francis Zammit Dimech hit out at the absence of participation of Labour MPs – apart from the Opposition Leader – in the debate. The Opposition doesn’t want to tell Parliament why it believes that the government has failed in a number of sectors, he said, accusing the Labour Party of being opportunistic. While the government side has nine hours of speaking time in this week’s debate, the Opposition opted for just an hour-and-a-half.(independent.com.mt)

Needless confidence motion amounts to democratic fraud - de Marco
Tourism Minister Mario de Marco said this evening that the fact that the Opposition had moved a no-confidence motion without justification amounted to democratic fraud. Speaking on the second day of the no-confidence debate, he noted that the Opposition had still not explained the reasons for its motion. Opposition leader Joseph Muscat, he said, was showing himself to be opting first for the politics of convenience, and now the politics of silence. During the debate, Nationalist MPs placed a strong accent on the government's economic performance. Opposition MPs did not participate in the debate and most of them were not in the Chamber. Today's sitting was opened by Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli who noted, like Francis Zammit Dimech yesterday, that no reasons had been given by the Opposition for its no confidence motion. And that was with good reason, he said, because the economy was performing better than that of other countries, and the government was sticking to its electoral programme. Workers in Malta were not losing their jobs, queuing for work or seeing their pensions eroded. Students were not seeing tuition fees rise; instead tuition was free at all levels.(timesofmalta.com)

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