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MW 12 May 2017

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ELECTION SPECIAL €1.00 Newspaper post FRIDAY • 12 MAY 2017 • ISSUE 525 • WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT ELECTIONS DAYS TO GO 22 MIRIAM DALLI LABOUR leader Joseph Mus- cat took his political opponent to task over claims that raising the national minimum pension would only cost €8.5 million, arguing that Simon Busuttil's "irresponsibility" will drive the country's economy to the wall. Addressing a sizeable crowd gathered in Santa Lucija, the Prime Minister said the PL was not criticising the PN for its pro- posals, but for how they were proposing these would come into force. Earlier, during a Facebook Live event, Muscat appeared before the cameras holding a calcula- tor: the PN has pledged to in- crease the national minimum pension by €22 a week. "If you multiply €22 by 52 weeks and multiply that by the number of pensions (18,000), the figure reaches €20 million," he said, mocking the PN for claiming this would only cost €8.5 million. "We are not criticizing you [Bu- suttil] for the proposal but your irresponsibility. You don't know how to lead the country's econ- omy and you will risk the places of work that we have worked so hard to create together." Muscat reiterated that "this is symptomatic of a coalition of confusion", as he urged the elec- torate against voting for the PN and PD candidates. The Labour leader said that the PN had not even realized that there already existed summer schools for children with dis- ability. "The PN is pledging to introduce summer schools – not adding to – without even realiz- ing that we already have a num- ber of summer schools open," he said. Urging them to help get the PL re-elected for a second term, Muscat asked the party faith- ful and "people of goodwill" to help deliver the message that the country should continue mov- ing forward. "We should be truly convinced that the best time of our coun- try has yet to come," he said, to clapping. Pilatus Bank files defamation proceedings in the USA over 'harmful allegations' MATTHEW VELLA PILATUS Bank has announced it has started legal actions in the United States of America against "individuals" it said had threatened its reputation with defamatory allegations. The bank, at the centre of a storm over reports by Malta In- dependent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia that it hosted an account for the Maltese prime minister or his wife to process a million-dollar pay- ment from the Azerbaijan rul- ing family, said in a statement that its reputation had been threatened with false and de- famatory allegations. "The bank will actively pur- sue all parties and individuals, directly and indirectly involved in making such harmful al- legations being broadcast on national television, radio, and published in national newspa- pers as well as online news sites in all international competent courts for commercial and pu- nitive damages due to irrepa- rable harm to the Bank and its stakeholders," the statement read. The American court it had taken recourse to was not stated in the announcement. The bank did not identify the individu- als it would take legal action against. According to Caruana Galizia, the bank was said to have held a declaration of trust in a safe, which declaration was supplied by auditor Brian Tonna and stated that Muscat's wife Mi- chelle was the beneficial owner of an offshore company in Panama. PAGE 9 Muscat: PN 'will drive country to the wall' Joseph Muscat

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