Leader of the opposition, Dr Busuttil was speaking at a business breakfast organised by The Malta Business Weekly.
"Despite facing a harsh international economic recession, Malta's economy consistently registered the best economic growth rates along with Germany, the motor of the European economy. So if anything, the Prime Minister is reaping the benefits. We are here to make things better not to leave things as they are."
Dr Busuttil said his first work experience took place when he was ten years old and he used to help his father at his Birkirkara ironmonger shop. The day used to start with him sweeping the shop. “I used to hate every minute of it but I did it nonetheless. We are here to serve clients. My experience has instilled in me a work ethic which is the same ethic we find in the private sector. “
“Businesses have to compete and invest to get new clients. I am saying this because I want you to know ere you stand with me on the economy.” The first is that I am not here to tell you that the economy is not doing well, but it is doing well and I am glad it is. However, I disagree with the Prime Minister who earlier this week said that he found a stagnant economy and turned it into a flourishing one.
The second premise is that I am not here to give you a detailed political programme of what my party will do for business and the economy. It would be presumptuous on my part to do so, three years away from an election. Instead, I will tell you what I believe are essential fundamentals that I would pursue at the helm of a government three years from now. Can business in Malta continue to be a success story? I will reply on two levels.
Firstly I will speak of the virtues and values that we must hold on to. We do not just have a market economy, we have a social market economy. The people in Malta should not be at the service of the economy but the other way round. We need to preserve the social model that we have created in this country. The European social model is different in different EU countries. We have created a social model that has worked for us. It is very rare for our country to have huge social turmoil. This is an achievement that we have to continue to nurture. We have also earned a reputation of trust and confidence in legal framework and public administration. Malta has also achieved an open economy, integrated into the European Union The economy cannot be taken for granted and we have to think ahead. Are we doing that? Our economy has to work for fairness and solidarity.
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