NOW he wants to reach consensus with the Opposition and listen to the people’s verdict? What a joke.

Published: November 20, 2013 at 11:09am

People's verdict

The prime minister said yesterday in parliament that he he is “ready to reach consensus with the Opposition and hold talks” on the sale of citizenship law, so as “to seek agreement”.

He also said that he “would welcome the people’s verdict”.

Malta Today was most admiring, as expected. They think he might even hold a referendum, isn’t he democratic. And if they think it, then he has told them to mention it. What total bull.

He is flying a kite here, using a hypothetical referendum to put pressure on the Opposition to come closer to his demands, and also to get his way by having a popular vote validate what he wants to do anyway. If there’s a referendum, he’s going to be the one writing the question on which we vote.

The proper time for discussion with the Opposition, to reach consensus and hold talks, was over the last few weeks before the bill reached parliament. Then, once in parliament, there was more scope.

But Muscat and his government flatly turned down any attempt by the Opposition to suggest how the law might be improved and the scheme made acceptable. It refused, outright, any attempt at reaching consensus. That was 10 days ago.

The prime minister had been defiant, mocked the Opposition in parliament for its “negativity” and its attachment to “prehistoric” ways of doing things, and defiantly said he would go through with this “modern” measure.

He said he expected “no problems from the EU”.

Now, just a week after he and his people voted for that bill and the president signed it into law, he suddenly wants talks. AFTER THE LAW IS SIGNED OFF.

Is it because he is the Listening Prime Minister and his is the Listening Government? No. It is because he is the Running Scared Prime Minister and his is the Government Under Siege From Within and Without. Even his own members are mutinying against this scheme, despite having vote for it like cringing curs to save the prime minister’s face and their own skin.

This is crazy. You refuse to discuss or amend a bill. You defiantly dismiss all criticism and bulldoze through. Then after it’s done and dusted you want to talk.

This is like somebody announcing to his wife that he thinks they should go to marriage counselling, after he has divorced her. Insane.

But it’s not because he listens. It’s because he’s panicked as hell, under pressure from the mocking, insulting, disbelieving international press coverage and under even worse pressure from other EU member states. No, he did not envisage problems with the legal and technical departments of the European Commission. But he should have had the intelligence and knowledge to expect a massive (to quote his head of communications) fall-out with other member states who couldn’t be expected to take this lying down.

What this tells me is that he truly did not envisage any problems or international mockery and insult of his brilliant scheme, or that it would be interpreted as a desperate measure by a bankrupt country, or even that other member states would go nuts at his appalling cheek of selling, for cash, passports to THEIR countries.

He’s not fit to govern. We are in a mess.

99 Comments Comment

  1. tinnat says:

    Qed jibza, qed jibza. He’s trying to chicken out of if. Typical case of closing the door after the horse has bolted.

    • curious says:

      And still I don’t trust them. They are buying time. They still have to honour their promises which were done prior to the election or else those who contributed to their campaign will spill the beans.

    • Cikku says:

      Verament li qed jibza’. Imma mhux biss, issa qed jipprova juri lil dawk miegħu kemm jisma’ dak li qed jgħidu u jrid li jkun hemm consensus mal-oppozizzjoni wkoll u li jsir referendum forsi.

      Għalfejn? Biex jerġa’ jressaq il-boċċa lejn il-likk u meta jasal ir-referendum, jekk jasal, lil dawk li jibilgħu bħall-mazzun kull ma jgħidilhom, iġibilhom qalbhom ġunġliena, għax miskin qed jagħmel li jixtiequ, l-oppozizzjoni ma tridx tikkopera u jerġgħu jivvutaw skont kif jixtieqhom l-imperatur.

      Verament kif qed tgħid inti Daphne: we are in a mess.

  2. La Redoute says:

    He wants consensus, but that hasn’t stopped him going to Miami to promote this horrible scheme.

    Salesman of the year prime minister Joseph Muscat is out there, drumming up business for Henley and Partners who will pocket fat commissions. One can only hope the prime minister is not pocketing fat commissions too.

  3. botom says:

    what is your e mail address pls

    [Daphne – [email protected]]

  4. ciccio says:

    Nice word, “consensus.”

    Another headline catchphrase by the Super-One-hack-turned-prime-minister, and the media simply repeats after him.

    The likes of Eddy Privitera and the little elves who occupy the comments board of will no doubt like that word and it will enrich their otherwise limited vocabulary.

    The prime minister is desperate for Eur30 million to pay for the water and electricity bills, and other unsustainable electoral promises, while he put together the most expensive cabinet in history and created boards, commissions, agencies, conventions, in order to keep those who helped him to power happy.

    He is indeed a defeated prime minister. The reaction of the international media to his Citizenship for Sale scheme has been crushing. His Chief Communications Functionnaire is totally “out of his depth” in front of this fallout.

    And he pretends that he is an economist, leading a government of economists. The first lesson in any decent book of economics deals with the scarcity of resources. He may want many things, but he can only have some, because things have a price. Of course, he did not use this principle before the elections, when he promised everything to everyone, making everyone believe that he will be printing money.

    Actually, why doesn’t he scrap the Citizenship for Sale scheme and start printing Euros at the government printing press?

  5. Sue says:

    That is exactly it. Muscat is not fit to govern. He thinks that he is smart, clever and intelligent and, I am sure, all his yes men tell him so.

    But in reality he is just not up to the job, just like some of his cabinet ministers.

    Indeed, we are in one hell of a mess.

  6. J. Agius says:

    So whilst Joseph Muscat was in Parliament talking about consensus, at more or less the same time, the Minister responsible for this scheme was on Times Talk justifying it.

    This to me confirms that there is more behind the reason that this legislation was rushed through Parliament in record time.

    Some applicants (very likely Chinese) are already lined up to whom passports will be issued prior to the amendment removing the anonymity aspect and no one will ever know. I don’t trust this government at all.

  7. Matta says:

    I would love to see our Prime Minister squirm in his seat in front of Stephen Sackur in the BBC’S Hard Talk. Only problem is that he will embarrass us internationally once again.

  8. Mariella says:

    Then Mr Owen Bonnici says on Xarabank that it’s the PN’s fault that the whole world are mentioning us. What a joke. The citizenship was not in their electoral programme. People didn’t vote for this.

    • Calculator says:

      The electoral programme or people’s vote on the matter don’t make a difference.

      The real crux of the matter is that Malta does not exist in its own little bubble, as most Labourites seem to think, but depends on outside forces.

      Financial services in particular, first and foremost, depend on the reputation a country has for stability. Any sale of citizenship (and I mean ‘sale’ literally, as the IIP currently is) would tarnish Malt’s reputation and give international speculators grounds on which to label the country as desperate and signal investors to steer clear.

  9. Vagabond King says:

    It took us a long 25 years to build respectability and it took Dr. Muscat 1 vote in Parliament to make us the laughing stock of the world.

    To add insult to injury, our President goes along with this charade and signs the law into effect without any questions asked. The sooner both go the better we all will feel.

  10. Jozef says:

    Kemm hu ndigest jekk jahseb li se jbellaghha li l-consensus hareg bih hu.

    Ara vera nkreppattiv dat-tifel.

  11. Bubu says:

    Why exactly have the PN not already started collecting signatures for an abrogative referendum? What are they waiting for?

  12. manum says:

    Jien dejjem sostnejt li dan hu bniedem tal-bnadar u tas-supporters tal-football.

    Tajjeb biex jostakola dak li jaghmel sens, U jfixkel ghal ghanijiet perversi.

    Sab ic-cans li jdeffes rasu meta l-partit Laburista kien ghandu anqas biss irrealizza li Malta posta kienet fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Hataf l-opportunita li jharref triqtu lejn it-tmexxija.

    Kien jaf cert il-partit tieghu maghmul minn persuni bla kultura, bla ebda sens ta’ edukazzjoni, u l-politika tfisser impozzizzjoni. Il-kelma demokrazija ghalijhom tfisser biss li irid jobdijha min hu kontra tieghi, ghalieh ma toghodx.

    Dan hu bniedem perikoluz u ghad jitnizzel mal-lista ta’ nies terribli, ghax jahseb li jaf is-soluzzjoni ta’ kollox. Mimli bieh innifsu, u jahseb li hu omnipotenti.

    Zatat minn dejjem, u jirredikola lil kullhadd. Dan tant ma ghandu ebda idea ta’ kif tmexxi pajjiz li fi zmien qarib ghad jistahba u hadd ma jisma hbaru.

  13. silvio loporto says:

    I have already expressed my opinion on this scheme BUT the Primeminister has now come to the point to show who is supposed to be running the country
    The E.U has already given their opinion and find nothing that goes against regulations.

    You have our mandate to govern ,The parliament has already approved the scheme the President has signed , so why give the impression that you are having second thoughts
    I’M sure that all calculations and risk etc where seen too before presenting the parliament/

    So if you are sure that it is of benfit to the country now is the time to go ahead with the marketing and attracting customers.


    So go ahead .

    Don’t forget that you are still dealing with the same person who told us that loweing the price of the energy bills were
    impossible to do.
    They are the same people who did not offer any help when you were dealing the Illegal imigration with the E.U.

    tAke it for granted they will be against you all the way in whatever you try to do..

    • La Redoute says:

      Do you ever think with your head and speak through your mouth?

    • Watchful eye says:

      You could not have said it better Sur Loporto:

      ‘the Primeminister has now come to the point to show who is supposed to be running the country’

      Still in opposition frame of mind.

  14. ciccio says:

    This is the second time that the Prime Minister has made the international news for the wrong reasons within the space of a few months.

    And the two instances are the antithesis of each other.

    The first time he hit the international headlines was when he tried to push back the African immigrants seeking refuge in Malta. In that instance, the European Court of Human Rights told him that with such act, he would be depriving persons of their fundamental human rights.

    Now he is back in the global media with his Citizenship for Sale scheme. Under this scheme, he is substantially offering human rights to deprived persons, but only in return for cash.

    In fact, it seems that he has changed his mind now. Noting that there is a demand for fundamental human rights by persons who have a lot of cash but who do not have such human rights in their country, he has now decided that he can offer those rights – thanks to those rights being guaranteed by Malta’s membership of the European Union – while demanding money in return.

    Both cases taken together show the political hyposcrisy and opportunism of the prime minister of Malta and the international media has detected this, although I am not sure if it has done so fully.

  15. John says:

    I’ve had people from Qatar and Bahrain speaking to me about this as it obviously made the news in their part of the world. One of them has worked it out: pay for the passport now that he is a bachelor, then get married because if he’s a Maltese national when he gets married presumably he wouldn’t need to pay the additional contribution for his wives and kids (he is allowed to have 3 wives under the laws of the land). That’s quite a lot of passports for 650k.

  16. Antoine Vella says:

    I had an indication that Labour was afraid of a referendum by the way government supporters were finding all sorts of excuses why it cannot be held.

    Muscat’s hint that he might even call a referendum himself confirmed what was just a suspicion.

    So, first the word was that a referendum could not be held because citizenship is a constitutional issue. When this was immediately ridiculed, Labour media started the rumour that a referendum could not be held because the citizenship law is a fiscal one, on account of the “investment” involved.

    When even this was laughed out of court, along comes Muscat to assure us that he is so not afraid of “the people’s verdict” that, why, he might even call a referendum himself.

    Muscat knows that the process of collecting signatures for such an unpopular law would effectively become a triumphal march for the Opposition and would galvanise civil society into taking a stand against him. The psychological fallout would be massive, to quote the little one.

    I won’t be surprised if, being the crafty manipulator he is, Muscat tries to avoid this by proposing a referendum himself, thus doing away with the need for signatures.

    The referendum would then become mixed up with the MEP election campaign, becoming almost indistinguishable so that anyone voting for Labour candidates would almost automatically vote in favour of selling citizenship.

    Also, if AD presents candidates for the MEP elections, they will conduct their own campaign, distinct, and perhaps in contraposition, to the PN. This will make it very difficult for any AD-PN cooperation with regards to the referendum. Organisations like the MEA, GRTU and Chamber of Advocates will also steer clear of what will have become a partisan issue.

    Simon Busuttil must play a carefully timed game. While it’s good to seek consensus, he must not let Muscat steal the initiative from him. There is no chance that consensus will be reached (unless Busuttil surrenders his principles) so the decision about a referendum needs to be taken and announced in the next days, if not hours.

    • ciccio says:

      Am I right to argue that now that the law is in place Muscat would probably ask for a consultative referendum, whereas the PN would want an abrogative referendum?

      It is a fact that in Malta the Yes vote normally wins, and Joseph Muscat would want to make sure that he benefits from a Yes answer to the referendum question. He can then campaign by insulting the PN as being “negative” and “jealous” because they do not want to be Yes-men.

      I am totally of the view that the PN must be very careful on its strategy here.

      However, until a decision is made about a referendum – which in my view is now inevitable – the PM cannot sell any citizenship.

      My concern is that if China is a buyer of Maltese passports, China will put its weight behind the Labour party in a referendum campaign. If China has the money to buy Maltese citizenship, then it will find the money to interfere further with Malta’s domestic politics.

      This foreign interference with our democracy by a non-democratic state, and the damage that will be done to our reputation as a financial centre, and within the EU, must be prominent features in a referendum campaign by the PN.

      I am of the view that if the PN were to ask for signatures for a referendum, the 35,000 signatures can be collected in the space of one week.

  17. Jozef says:

    I see Saviour can spin whichever direction.

    ‘..I refuse to be lectured about how this country should be run by people who made a mess of things and got castigated for it.

    And yet again, on the citizenship issue I have not heard Chris Said talking about awarding citizenship to individuals who deserve it and who aren’t flush with money.

    However, the PN has misread the situation in this case. Whether we agree or disagree, the PL is more open to business and more interested in the fast-track, and this reality is what concerns many in the business community. And the PL knows that at the very end of the day, it is affluence that will convince people to support them…’

    This was his opinion until yesterday, he then goes on with a huge dose of what Italians call ‘benaltrismo’, that irritating habit of schewing an argument to one’s agenda.

    In this one he accuses the PN of being hyprocritical when it takes up the citizenship thingy but remains silent on hunting.

    Who’s the apologist?

  18. daffid says:

    So the PM now wants to pass the responsibility for the mess he has made to ‘the people’.

    It should be perfectly obvious to him and his cabinet that they have made total mess of the initiative and seriously damaged Malta’s reputation in the process. That is not leadership.

    The PM should have the courage to say he made a mistake and withdraw the whole thing at once.

    Putting the issue to a referendum will not erase the fact that it was the Labour Party, when Joseph Muscat was Prime Minister, that in 2013 legislated to sell Maltese citizenship.

    That fact cannot be erased by a referendum and the disaster will now be written into our history books in the same way that it is recorded that some 60 years ago MIntoff and the Labour Party wanted the Malta to be integrated with the UK.

    Can the Labour Party not see that it is the Maltese themselves, when given the right environment, who generate wealth? They have the example of the past 25 years to work on.

    • hello says:

      So the PM now wants to pass the responsibility for the mess he has made to ‘the people’. So apt, I believe that should be used by PN as a promo.

  19. vic says:

    Re the secrecy clause, if this is rescinded in due time, will the names of those who would have already acquired their passport still remain secret (as agreed before March) ?

  20. Jozef says:

    It’s a mess alright, hopefully they didn’t spend a fortune on booking conference halls and tickets.

    We risk being sued by those who’d have booked their tickets to attend. Pass the brown paper bags.

  21. Kevin says:

    And, it’s only 8 months into the administration. Let’s please not forget that.

  22. Anthony says:

    Fejn huma l-paroli vojta ta’ maggoranza ta’ 9? La mexa fuq dan l-argument qabel biex jghaddi l- ligi ghalfejn din il- U TURN? Fejn hu l-president fuq din. Basta ffirma u issa jkollu jerga jiffirma emenda. Buzulotti.

  23. Joe says:

    Since the last election, Joseph Muscat has been for eight whole months on holiday, globetrotting. His only work so to say was the budget for 2014 and the selling of citizenship saga. And he has shown what is his worth.

  24. anthony says:

    In my opinion there is nothing to discuss.

    Parliament has spoken.

    This is the highest institution of the land.

    The PN should only be prepared to discuss with a new PM and only after the law has been repealed.

    The present PM is not fit for purpose.

  25. Malta Taghna Lkoll? says:

    Since it has come to this, the Opposition should let him stew in his own juice.

    Let him face the rest of the EU and argue his way out. He was so cocksure and never expected this reaction from the other EU states and other countries.

  26. Galian says:

    “He’s not fit to govern. We are in a mess.”

    What a terrifying truth.

  27. James says:

    Maybe he fast-tracked this law to be able to travel to Miami for free.

    On a related note – You wrote about the Miami conference ages ago saying that Muscat will be present. However, yesterday Muscat was expected for an interview with Newsbook. This is what they reported:

    “Siegħa qabel l-intervista, il-Kap tal-Komunikazzjoni tal-Gvern Kurt Farrugia informa lil Karl Wright li l-Prim Ministru ma setax jattendi minħabba vjaġġ ta’ malajr lejn Miami.”

  28. Nik says:

    This Monday, George Vella was in Brussels for the Foreign Affairs Council, which brings together the Foreign Ministers of all EU member states.

    I’m guessing he got an earful from his counterparts and had to tell the PM that something must be done. I guess he got the message that even those perfidious Nazzjonalisti couldn’t organise a reaction on that scale.

  29. rpacebonello says:

    If it wasn’t so tragic it would be hilarious.

  30. Joseph Muscat could not have overlooked the criticism that his scheme would encounter, but he is so full of himself that he was convinced that he would be able to brush aside all criticism. Stubbornness was his weapon.

    So far, he has been able to get away with murder, metaphorically speaking, on the local level. Did he not foresee the international reaction? If so, one questions his fitness to parade on the international scene, but this is where the Maltese electorate has put him.

  31. Francis Saliba MD says:

    Joseph Muscat has started to smell the rancid coffee of his own brewing. He is getting alarming feed back not only locally but also from all over the world even from his left-leaning friends abroad.

    That was the background situation that induced Mintoff to hand over his filthy baton presto to a hesitant KMB as soon as an inevitable electoral defeat loomed over the Malta horizon.

    That was the background when Mintoff knuckled under pressure and stopped blocking CSCE progress because his socialist contacts at the conference informed him that Malta was about to be thrown out of the conference.

    Anyone believing that a hyena will change its habits as well as its camouflaging stripes needs to have his head examined.

  32. Matt P. says:

    Remember, the law is there as we speak. Now that the law has passed he can process the promised passports between now and when the law is changed.

    Days pass, passports are processed. When that is done and he got most of the cash in, then he goes to parliament.

  33. Confused says:

    But, as I understand it, the PM left for Miami this morning – to sell this initiative of his.

    So what, exactly, is he going to sell once he’s ready to hold negotiations with the Opposition?

    I get the feeling that, for him, this is all a game.

  34. P Shaw says:

    Typical schoolyard bully. He chickens out when confronted – this time by European peers.

  35. J says:

    We have a government by admission of error.

    – Secret citizenship, massive uproar, then no secret citizenship.

    – No museum of fine arts at Auberge d’Italie, artists’ indignation, then museum of fine arts at Auberge d’Italie.

    – Pushback, massive uproar, just bluffing.

    – Maelmstrom should take the immigrants to her country, massive uproar, British humour.

    And of course:

    – EU membership would be disastrous, jirbah il-partnership, eh le sorry, rebah l-Iva, then let’s milk it for all we can while we’re in Opposition and then start selling EU citizenship when we get into the driving seat.

  36. J Farrugia says:


    Can you explain to me something please?

    If the President of Malta already signed it into Law, anyone from that day can get the Maltese passport for money?

    If so. What need there is for a referendum to be held? I mean, if he had in mind of selling the Maltese passport, (like I think he had), to specific persons, I would think that he already sold those passports. Also without anyone knowing who they are because of the secrecy law.

    In simple terms, by the time the referendum will be held, (if it will) does he has the right to continue selling passports?

    [Daphne – The law is as it is now, secrecy clause and all. Which means that yes, until such a time as it is changed, citizenship can be sold for cash and in secret.]

  37. AE says:

    Yes we are in a mess.

    The Italians are having a field day. First they are made to look like heroes on the immigration issue and now this. We are being painted as the rogue state that we have become in just a matter of months. Thanks to Muscat, Mallia and la bella compania.

    For someone who is as media savvy as Muscat is meant to be, he should have seen the backlash coming. That he didn’t is extremely worrying.

    If this is his roadmap, we are well and truly shafted. He spent a whole campaign telling us he had one, without telling us what it is. But he couldn’t very well do that could he, if all it was was the treasonous act of selling our citizenship for cash.

    As for those who voted for him, fools you. Many of you are even worse than fools because you voted him in for some selfish promise that he made to you or to pay back the Nationalists for something they did not do for the great you.

    The pity is that we who knew that Joseph Muscat was not fit to govern are going to get screwed too.

  38. Robert Barathian says:

    Let’s all be very careful now. Everyone knows that rats are desperately dangerous when cornered and threatened. And the Rat is in such position.

  39. Pablo says:

    Martin Schultz is livid and is behind this late move. It’s not only our reputation that has been ruined. With friends like Joey who needs enemies.

  40. Sapiens says:

    What an amateur. This issue couldn’t have been managed in a worse manner. And he wants us to believe that he is a good manager.

    Never heard of the term ‘reputational risk’ apparently.

    So much for his doctorate.

  41. ciccio says:

    Right now, the prime minister of Malta, is eagerly awaited at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (is that a Chinese interest – everything seems to be connected to China these days) in Miami, where he is an “Exceptional Participant” (together with Kermit Lewis and Louis Grech) at the 7th Global Residence and Citizenship Conference.

    So now I am really, but really curious about what he is going to tell the conference.

    Will he tell them that he is going to forge ahead with his Sale of Citizenship scheme, and please prepare your chequebooks because the Maltese government will issue Maltese and EU passports to anyone with euro 650,000? And will he add to that, that he will now trick the opposition into submission by offering them a “consensus” and then buy some more time while Henley & Partners give interviews to government friendly media saying they have received immense interest which Manwel Mallia quantifies in the “billions” of euros?

    Or will he tell the conference at Miami that his plans have blown up in his face? That the international media have discovered what he has been up to, trying to shore up the finances of his government which he and Mintoffianomics Professor Edward Sigg Luna have wrecked so that they can keep their electoral promise to reduce the electricity tariffs, “on average,” by 25%? Will he say that now the plan is on hold until he discusses with the opposition on proper amendements to the law?

    Or maybe he will say that he has now hinted at a referendum, because he is not afraid of the people’s verdict? Well, for sure he will not say that he was afraid of the people’s verdict at the last general elections when he hid his plans from the electorate while he promised heavens on earth and said that it was all “costed” and without “any increase in the tax burden” and that it will all be paid for from “economic growth.”

    And I am also interested in what the audience will say at that conference. I would like to know how excited they are to pay Euro 650,000 to obtain a piece of paper which will by default associate them globally with international criminals seeking to lay their hands on the Maltese passports as a matter of convenience to recycle drug and corruption money.

    At this point, I am left hoping that at least the prime minister’s sense of “hindsight” has not abandoned him. Otherwise, we are all doomed.

  42. bob-a-job says:

    Joseph Muscat is becoming more and more expert at less and less.

    Soon he will reach his zenith when he becomes superb and exceptional at nothing at all.

  43. Petrovic says:

    I am very suspicious indeed. Although I perfectly agree that we have bunch of incompetent morons running our country, this ‘mess’ could have been planned out meticulously so as to sell passports, with the current secrecy clause, to the promised ones, and at the same time give the impression that they want consensus – dawn jitnejku bin-nies jafu.

  44. QahbuMalti says:

    He’s already misinformed an audience in London and will now follow suit to an audience in Miami. No one knows the final shape of this ‘program’.

  45. Ray Camilleri says:

    If there is an abrogative referendum through collection of signatures the wording is set as per the Abrogative Referendum act.

    The electorate will be asked if they want to ‘abrogate’ the whole law (or parts of it). The question is not set by government or parliament and the referendum will HAVE to be held if the required amount of signatures are collected.

    • Tabatha White says:

      What is the required number of signatures?

      [Daphne – 35,000]

    • Carmelo Micallef says:


      Step 1 – 35,000 signatures for an abrogative referendum

      Step 2 – Q – Abrogate the law, yes/no?

      Step 3 – Simple majority voting `yes`

      As my Chinese friends say – one step at a time

    • Carmelo Micallef says:


      Step 1 – 35,000 signatures for an abrogative referendum

      Step 2 – Q – Abrogate the law, yes/no?

      Step 3 – Simple majority voting `yes`

      One step at a time …. let`s start

    • ciccio says:

      Thanks for that explanation. That’s important information.

  46. Watchful eye says:

    For the sake of the argument, is the law in the meantime suspended?

    • Carmelo Micallef says:

      No – it is signed by the President and is the law with the secrecy clause included – just like the Prime Minister and the PL MP`s voted for only a few days ago.

  47. ketchup says:

    Our Prime Minister is selling Maltese citizenship because he needs the cash and quickly, to be able to pay for all his ‘klikka ‘/ friends of friends whom he has employed. God Bless, suddenly we have many people with a hidden talent.

  48. Mike says:

    Bulldozed through parliament and totally ignoring all the warnings the Opposition were making through their attempts at passing amendments to the law.

    Now that it has obviously caused damage our dear pm wants to reach some consensus.

    The hypocrite.

  49. Augustus says:

    I advise the Opposition to be very cautious. The PM is a cunning devil.

    • Manuel says:

      Well said, Augustus. I actually don’t understand the point why Dr. Busuttil offered the hand for consensus when the Law was already signed by the President. The PM will now look like he is “willing” when he is not. Dr. Busuttil should be very, very cautious.

      [Daphne – Oh come on. What would the Opposition leader have looked like if he refused to cooperate for the greater good? Refusal to cooperate would have made HIM look like an AH and make Muscat look better, undeservedly.]

      • Jozef says:

        Simon Busuttil has been appealing for consensus ever since the scheme was announced and details emerged.

    • Harry Worth says:

      Spot on Augustus … beware PN

  50. Paddling Duck says:

    Is there something we don’t know here? Is he afraid of repercussions from abroad or from within his own party?

  51. H.P. Baxxter says:

    What a flattering photograph. ProsETT.

  52. dutchie says:

    Gvern li jisma. He’s flying a kite, all right.

    In a lightning storm.

  53. Edward says:

    The irritating thing about the PL in this and other issues is that they have made all these promises which people want and agree with but that cannot be fulfilled without this scheme.

    So in their eyes, being in favour of the promises means you have to be in favour of the scheme.

    Not being in favour of the scheme means you must be against the promises too, which is insane but a very handy thought process for the PL since they see nothing wrong in doing harm to achieve what they deem to be a just end.

    We saw this with Mintoff and now with Muscat, the same old story.

    One can be in favour of an idea but against how to go about it. The sad thing about Muscat (and Mintoff) is that other options are/were available to them but they chose a stupid (and in the case of Mintoff, vindictive and aggressive) route, things people are naturally going to be against.

    Being against the means turns into being against the goals, in the Labour mindset, which in turn becomes a reason to be hated. “They are doing this because they don’t want to you have free X or free Y.”

    Deceitful and obnoxious, the lot of them.

  54. AG says:

    And he thought that the Opposition was being critical because they were jealous of his ingenious scheme.

    By no stretch of imagination would I begin to understand how someone so stupid could be voted into government and with such a resounding vote. It says a lot about the electorate.

    Terrifying thoughts, indeed.

  55. Orlando Ellul Micallef says:

    The government has published the opinions of the Attorney-General and of the Dean of the Faculty of Law who said that it is unconstitutional to revoke the citizenship of those who have bought it.

    If this law goes to an abrogative referendum and people vote to have it repealed, what will happen to those who have already bought the citizenship?

    Will the MaltaToday team go and ask the Prime Minister about this?

    The Prime Minister should have listened to the people and the opposition BEFORE they proudly went ahead and vote in favour and NOT after.

  56. Joan says:

    What a hypocrite.

    PN, beware and let him clean up his own mess.

  57. pablo says:

    Henley & Partners gave their advice on a proper investment citizenship scheme but the Labour Party wants a straight sell off to have the money now. It wants the money for a National Development Fund for social projects. First off, a serious government knows that spending on social projects is commendable and it can do so only if the general economy is doing well. Secondly, its fine playing Father Christmas but the money has to come from somewhere. Taxes? “No”, says the Minister for National Security – “we sell our common EU passports to rich non-EU persons in the hope that they never come here. If we had taken Henley’s advice, these millionaires would compete with first home buyers and that’s what happened when George Borg Olivier was in power”.

    Despite the mantra of bringing “talent” to our shores which has been repeated ad nauseam by the PM since his London launch of this IIP scheme, and originally parrotted by Mallia and company, we now know that their ditching of the residence/investment requirement, as found in Portugal and elsewhere, is not about protection of the low end property market but about their concern that these investors may before or after the expiry of a residence/investment qualification period, respectively, either leave for another scheme or leave and set up in another EU country. In other words, Mallia has no confidence in the “talent” of these persons. But he wants their dirty money up front at all costs.

    The Labour Party knows that their scheme is being marketed, in the main, to people who became millionaires in failed or totalitarian states. Therefore, the source of their wealth cannot be traced and is not properly recorded. False records are easily bought. Lies are cheap.

    The secrecy clauses were passed into law as part of this marketing strategy on Saturday. Sunday morning, we awoke to Grech and Muscat promising to remove these secrecy provisions admitting unwittingly to us that this would diminish the success of the scheme. Switch on the lights and the cockroaches run away.

    Then suddenly, on Monday, they changed their mind even about consensus and started to talk about reaching agreement with the Opposition and reviewing the whole shebang. Was this the result of them seeing all that bad media all around the world? Hardly, although they did not calculate its tsunami force. The road to Damascus is in the private communications between Brussels and Malta. Of this I am more than convinced.

    Muscat was backed by Schultz in 2013 and Muscat had two months ago publicly returned the favour at Brussels. When Schultz heard about this scheme and saw the growing reaction from his Socialist group against Muscat’s cheap sell off of their common EU rights, he told Muscat in no uncertain terms to either follow Henley’s original scheme based on residence/investment or face complete and immediate isolation within the EU socialist group.

    Only a fool would try to guess where the next twist will be and where it will come from. The glaring reality however is the fundamental point of departure in Maltese politics at the moment – the party in power is a party that fought hard against EU membership, and grudgingly accepted it only when it saw it as a tool for its own partisan and personal advancement.

    EU membership, for Muscat, is only indispensable for his first five years. It will be in his second term, when he will seriously consider walking out of Europe. That is why he wants the cash now and not in four years time.

  58. Angus Black says:

    Translation: Paving the way for a general retreat – or a referendum.
    Either way he is a loser – not fit to govern – not fit for any purpose.

  59. Alexander Ball says:

    I am not interested in words but in facts. This law is now a fact, secrecy and all, no matter what is being said. It is a fact until it is repealed.

    Wake up and smell the bullshit, folks.

  60. Snoopy says:

    According to this video he had his ups and downs but has legs engineered to perfection:

  61. curious says:

    How shall we best put it – Governing by Reverse?

    “Public pressure appears to have reversed a decision not to move the Fine Arts Museum from Admirality House in South Street to the Auberge d’Italie, as originally planned under the previous government. ” (MaltaToday)

  62. Acd says:

    This is a very shortsighted plan. I expect that other EU countries will follow suit even under-cutting Malta’s price. People interested in a Eu passport will buy at the cheapest available price as an EU passport is just that, whether its Maltese, Spanish, Cypriot or Greek. The price will inevitably tumble and best case scenario is we’d get one year’s revenue.

    Also, Muscat will win a referendum because, as already mentioned, the question will be ‘passports’ or ‘more taxes’ and we all know that most Maltese people keep their brains in their pockets.

  63. etil says:

    Well Muscat went off to Miami to sell some Maltese citizenship. He sure cannot miss another trip. He is a cheat and a blatant liar, and I for one don’t believe a thing he says.

  64. TROY says:

    Kif ghidu fuq il-qattusa amja?

  65. Kukkurin says:

    This is the time for the Opposition to prove that it truly is an alternative government by taking the lead and coming to the rescue.

    The Prime Minister has totally misjudged the situation and ended up making a complete blunder. Yet in the interest of us all, the damage must be contained by consensus and fast, lest all this boomerangs and we end up impoverished rather than enriched.

    Malta’s very credibility is at stake, and our vital financial services industry is on the line.

  66. etil says:

    If Muscat truly believes what he is saying he should have cancelled his sales trip to Miami until the IPP issue has been clarified.

  67. gorg says:

    Mela ghalekk ma jridux jergghu jghaddu l-ligi mill-parlament wara li nehhew is-secracy clause.

    Muscat qed jibza li ma jivvutawlux shabu tal-Lejber.

  68. mewho says:

    He blew any chance of consensus when he bulldozed the changes he wanted through parliament.

    Hang on a moment, consensus is a sign of weakness. This statement begs a question. What is he willing to give in return?

  69. Claude Sciberras says:

    This government thinks that if something is not actually illegal or against the rules then it can be done. There are no morals or ethics or even wisdom.

    The EU says it does not get involved in how countries grant citizenship but that’s because the EU assumes all countries hold their citizenship in high regard and won’t do anything like that.

  70. unhappy says:

    Best way to deter criminals in abusing the system is the publication of names of those who acquired Maltese citizenship in English and ethnic scripts in stand alone columns branded “Citizenship by Investment”

    This list must be separated from the general mass of citizens via the traditional naturalization process

  71. billy goat says:

    This is so typical of Joseph Muscat.

    First he passes the bill into law to satisfy his “clients” and causes outrage. Then he proposes to discuss this with the electorate to look cool, hip and democratic with the brainless electorate – AFTER the bill is law.

    If the referendum goes his favour, he is vindicated. On the other hand if it does not, he will look like a prime minister that listens and values the people’s opinions. At the same time he would have still favoured his Chinese/Russian sugar daddies.


  72. Matt says:

    He wants to discuss and reach consensus.

    At the same time he is in Miami selling off the scheme.

    What a joke

  73. All Jam says:

    To Dr Simon Busuttil: no consensus please. Stick to the principle that Maltese citizenship is under no circumstances for sale. I find it so debasing to abuse of one’s membership of a club which expects the highest of ethical standards from its members.

  74. Natalie Mallett says:

    A good prime minister should be judged on his foresight not his hindsight. Correcting mistakes is a good thing but the damage would have been done already.

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