PN leader Bernard Grech laid down several proposals to ease bureaucracy for hunting hobbyists, including anomolies over taxidermic collections and ease of payment on hunting and trapping fines.
“I want hunters and trappers to not only continue with their hobby but I also want to make sure no one uses them for political gain,” Grech said.
He added that the result of the 2015 spring hunting referendum needs to be accepted as is, arguing that any change from the result could set a precedent for other referendum results taken such as Malta’s accession to the EU.
Several other candidates spoke out on hunting and trapping. Rebekah Cilia stated that the Nationalist Party will respect all hobbist groups, including hunting, trapping and local festi enthusiasts.
Anthony Mifsud also reiterated that he is ready to defend the result of the hunting referendum and the rights of hunter and trappers to practice their hobby.
Alessia Psaila Zammit similarly said that she would protect the hobby and work side-by-side with hunters and trappers. Edwin Vassallo reiterated that the party wants hunters to have their spring hunting season.
Other candidates appeased to the local farming community. Graziella Galea pledged that a Nationalist Party government will use EU funds to breathe new life into Malta’s agricultural sector.
Psaila Zammit also pledged to create a sustainable future for farmers and help them become the owners of the land they till. “Our food is our security,” she said, drawing on her experience working with farmers as a mayor.
Crowd chants ‘Delia!’
Adrian Delia was the star candidate of the night, with the crowd cheering his name when he was handed the microphone to begin his speech.
“From the localities in this district you can get a snapshot of the Maltese synthesis and the normality we’ve lost,” he said.
Delia first touched on banking, detailing that a €1,000 cash deposit at the bank is often met with questions, documents, and volumes of other requests.
“Did they treat the finance minister like this with the €70 million contract for Vitals? What did BOV ask him?” he questioned.
He added that the Nationalist Party had filed a motion in parliament to stop the transfer of land at Żonqor Point to the American University of Malta.
“Every government MP voted against. Explain to me how they’ve miraculously changed their mind and decided to take the land back? It’s because it was never a real deal!”
Earlier, candidate Ryan Callus also touched on banking challenges brought on by Malta’s placement on the FATF’s so-called graylist. “When we go to a bank they consider everyone a criminal,” he said.
He briefly mentioned a Labor Party proposal to introduce the right to a company bank account, while the PN pledged the right to. introduce a basic bank account. Callus said that the Nationalist Party will go a step further.
“We won’t just give you a right to a bank account but we will make sure to fill that bank account up,” he said.
The right to a basic bank account was introduced in 2018, in line with EU regulations.
On energy, Callus said that the Nationalist Party will open up new opportunities for energy investors by looking into clean energy sources without ruining the natural environment.
Candidates Charles Azzopardi and Ivan Bartolo extended their invitation to join the Nationalist Party to “genuine labourites” who hold values of social justice.
Azzopardi recently defected to the Nationalist Party after being prevented from contesting the 2019 local elections on the Labor Party ticket. He described the PN as the party of patria and nation, and encourage others to do like him and vote for the Nationalist Party.
Bartolo added that he went through a similar experience to Azzopardi, having been a Mosta councillor ousted by the Labor Party.
“My story goes back to 2003 when I encouraged genuine Labor supporters to vote for the PN so that Malta can join the EU,” he said.
Bartolo had voted with Nationalist councillors in favor of a motion urging his locality’s residents to vote in favor of EU membership. Bartolo was a Mosta councillor at the time, and was also secretary of the town’s Labor Party club.
“I make a heartfelt appeal to the supporters so they can join our calls and united with the Nationalist Party he said.”