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MaltaToday 23 March 2022 Special Edition

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15 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 23 MARCH 2022 Clint Camilleri Fleur Vella Clint Camilleri is Minister for Gozo and PL candidate on the 13th District Fleur Vella is a PL candidate on the 7th District MALTA and Gozo will be choos- ing their parliamentary repre- sentatives, and consequently their government, for the next five years. The persons elected will have the privilege to legislate on the citizens' behalf and at the same time some among those will have the added responsibil- ity of being part of the Cabinet. Those voting their vote will be deciding their future. Their decision will reflect past expe- riences and future aspirations. Still the main question they need to ask is a relatively sim- ple one: who to trust to deliver. All political parties have pre- sented their electoral program. Whoever is elected needs to implement what is being prom- ised. The Labour Party has a track record of delivering what it promises. It is almost an ab- solute certainty. This point was emphatically driven during the past two years. Years during which we had to face almost unthinkable circumstances. Two years during which we had to shut down large parts of our economy. Times during which even travel to Gozo was restricted. Despite the difficult circum- stances, the Labour Govern- ment continued to deliver. We could easily have found hun- dreds of excuses to postpone projects and initiatives. Instead we intensified our efforts. We continued to sustain business- es with unprecedented level of support. We continued to help families. We continued to de- liver infrastructural projects. I could provide a long list of projects that we delivered in Gozo over the last two years. Projects that continued to transform the island, providing important infrastructure and support services. The results are there for all to see. While in the past, Gozo was an after- thought, now it is firmly on top of the agenda for this Govern- ment. While in the past, there was a sense of fatalism that Gozitans had to bear conse- quences of double insularity, now there is a sense of empow- erment. While before people had to look outside for oppor- tunities, now they feel confi- dent that most of their aspira- tions can be attained in Gozo. All this is the result of our work. With the Labour Party you know where you stand. Contrast this with the Na- tionalist Party. A party at war with itself. A party that was and is still absent when you need it. A party that you know you cannot trust to deliver. A par- ty that if elected back in Gov- ernment, will take Gozo back to the situation it was before 2013. A Gozo without hope. Our program for Gozo is am- bitious. The measures listed will continue to build on our success. Above all it is doable and unambiguous. On the oth- er hand, the program presented by the Nationalist Party is full of inconsistency, inaccuracy and promises things that are either not doable or else defeat the same purpose they aim to address. One example is the proposal of a regional council for Gozo that will practically render the Ministry for Gozo obsolete. Another example is the proposal to enlarge the Mġarr Harbor. A nice idea on paper but in practice impos- sible. Unless of course you're ready to take large areas of ODZ either towards Qala or else towards Mġarr x-Xini. When I was appointed Min- ister for Gozo by Prime Minis- ter Robert Abela two years ago I made a promise to put all my efforts to deliver a better Gozo while remaining close to my constituents. I believe I did that. The choice is yours. You can elect people that you know will deliver. People you know that will be close to you. Or else re- turn to the past. THE Labour Party always worked to bring greater social cohesion by helping the the weakest in our society. It is a par- ty which has always remained in contact with people hearing also the humblest. This is why I chose to be part of the Labour party. To be with people and work to fulfil their needs. For me the greatest achieve- ment of the labour party has been the free child care for all. This way everyone has the pos- sibility to earn a living while kids are taken care of. This removed the burden on grandparents and gave women more courage to invest in their education to have a good career which would not terminate upon first pregnancy. Another great achievement was maternity leave paid from a ma- ternity fund. In the past it was more financially viable to em- ploy a man as he would not have to be paid while taking care of his newborn. Today employers con- tribute a small amount towards the maternity fund for each em- ployee regardless whether they are male or female. Both child- care facilities and maternity fund helped women to come closer to equality and provided a means for them to be able to fullfill their full potential. More recently, during the pan- demic, the Government had to see how the economy could con- tinue operating. The help which I felt was most essential, was for businesses and the public sec- tor, to be able to be able to al- low their workers to work from home. I have studied this meth- od of work since the year 2000. There was enormous resistance for such working methods which were completely demolished by the pandemic. Offices became places which could put work- ers' health at risk and so an al- ternative solution to avoid work disruptions had to be found. The possibility of working from home was a priceless help to de- crease traffic as well as families being able to reach a better bal- ance between work and private life. Time wasted in traffic can now be spent with families. Zonqor point returning to Government ownership was another great achievement. The coast between Smart City and Marsascala has exceptional beauty. Maltese Government's ownership of this land was an important step to safeguard our natural heritage. The investment in road infra- structure was also a very im- portant achievement. Now we have modern roads and traffic has tangibly decreased. Crossing from the north to south of Mal- ta meant being stuck for at least one hour in Marsa traffic. Again today the decreased travelling time means being able to enjoy more time with family. I dream of a Malta where fam- ilies have the time to enjoy the beauty of this country together. This can be achieved by allow- ing families to have enough free time. We also need to protect our priceless natural habitat and cultural heritage. We also need to improve the condition of many site which were left in a state of decay. Best example of this is Fort Ricasoli and some bastions in cottonera area. The Inwadar park is being changed from a dumping site to a recre- ational area. Labour Party is committed to spending Euro 700 million over seven years for us all to have rec- reational spaces that are all so important for our physical and mental health. Developing our neglected are- as for recreational purposes will add unique value to Malta. This will allow Maltese to achieve a higher standard of living, attract more tourists and more invest- ment towards our islands. This would allow us to continue cre- ating wealth and be able to sus- tain our social services as pen- sions and services for disabled. A track record of delivering on promises Working to fulfil people's needs

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