05 FEBRUARY 2003

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Prime Minister’s fast track campaigning

The Nationalist Party’s campaign in favour of European Union accession is similar to that of a general election campaign. Prime Minister and PN leader Dr Eddie Fenech Adami is banking on meeting with different sectors of society. A number of women this week said they understood the need for European Union membership by 1 May, 2004 because it will not only benefit women, but also be for the good of their families and children.
The women, who were attending a discussion chaired by Monica Attard at Villa Arrigo in San Pawl tat-Targa yesterday morning, spoke about the benefits of EU accession.
When asked about the opportunities that will be made available to women in the EU, Prime Minister Dr Eddie Fenech Adami said the EU is in favour of women’s rights and women will enjoy numerous social benefits including maternity programmes and other social assistance.
Dr Eddie Fenech Adami said the EU will open up a fountain of opportunities for our country and deplored the Labour Party’s ‘No’ campaign, describing it as ‘a partnership of lies’.
When asked about the future of Malta’s established companies once we join EU, Dr Fenech Adami said without a doubt, export-orientated firms would see a huge boost in their sales and opportunities would increase.
He also said Malta’s GDP was 56 per cent of the EU average and this would increase once we became members of the EU.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the benefits of joining the EU when Georg Sapiano at Qala, Gozo, interviewed him later in the day.
The Prime Minister’s campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in the EU Referendum kicked off in style on Sunday with a dialogue meeting at Sliema in the morning and a mass meeting at the Granaries in the evening.
On Monday morning Dr Eddie Fenech Adami toured shops in Sliema. Speaking about the feedback from the shop owners, he said: "Speaking individually to the people, although some may have their own particular difficulties, the general feeling is that we cannot throw away the future of our country."
On Monday evening Peppi Azzopardi interviewed the Prime Minister in a tent full of enthusiastic ‘Yes’ supporters at Misrah Lewza, San Gwann.
In this globalised world, the Prime Minister said, Malta should see that it will be competing alongside other huge industrialised nations such as China.
The Prime Minister said textile factories had almost disappeared from Malta as the world was changing. He said one should ask a fundamental question, would we fare better if we stay out of the EU or would economic prospects increase if we joined the EU?
During the interview Fenech Adami deplored comments made by the Malta Labour Party about German history during the visit of EU Enlargement Commissioner, Gunther Verheugen.
When asked why people who find themselves doing well in business should want change Dr Fenech Adami said that one cannot remain where one is but must move on. He mentioned a case in which a Cypriot official said he hoped that Malta would not join the EU as this was just more competition for his country. The Prime Minister said all countries are competing with each other and if we remain estranged, we will lose out considerably.
Regarding unemployment in the Union, Dr Fenech Adami said it was true that many countries in the EU had high rates of unemployment, but one must bear in mind that these rates were mostly in depressed areas like Sicily and Eastern Germany.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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