18 February 2004

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PN leadership campaign heats up
The leadership chess game entered its second week with the three contenders for the PN’s top post strategically addressing high profile ministerial press conferences which had much to do with their respective election strategies.
On Monday Finance Minister John Dalli presided over the privatisation of the National Lottery, happily accepting a cheque of Lm5 million as an initial deposit from the company that won the bid. In a brief speech Dalli also made reference to the “hard” and “intense” negotiations between all the parties involved including the lotto receivers.
On the same day, Social Policy Minister Lawrence Gonzi talked about measures undertaken by his ministry to curb abuse in sickness benefit claims. The Deputy Prime minister’s words were tough and uncompromising with ample reference to a policy of “zero-tolerance” when it comes to abuse.
Education Minister Louis Galea levelled matters yesterday at the launch of a National Action Plan for Employment. Being minister responsible for the Employment Training Corporation, Galea is spearheading this plan and the press conference yesterday came at a time when unemployment is a topic of hot debate.

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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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