Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Times: Government committed to transgender rights – Gonzi

Friday, March 1, 2013 by Christian Peregin

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday said his party was committed to addressing the issues faced by transgender individuals in the next legislature.

Interviewed in Għargħur by Celine Falzon, herself a transsexual, Dr Gonzi was asked why the Government failed to move the Gender Identity Bill presented to Parliament by Labour MP Evarist Bartolo. He was also asked why no reference was made to this in the Nationalist Party’s manifesto.

He said there were many Bills that had not yet been approved by Parliament, including those presented by the Government itself. However, he agreed that the situation had to be remedied because there was no legal status for those who changed their sex.

Asked about delayed payments for government business incentives, Dr Gonzi acknowledged that bureaucracy had to be addressed because businesses were losing precious time and money. However, he stressed that EU funds had to be distributed very carefully according to strict procedures.

Asked whether the PN would change direction if it lost the election, Dr Gonzi said he was working towards a victory and still believed this would happen. However, a loss would obviously force the PN to examine what went wrong.

“Maybe we focused on the bigger picture while not giving enough importance to the things we consider to be small issues but which are big issues for those affected directly,” he said. Yet, the bigger picture was crucial because if one’s job was in jeopardy, nothing else counted, he added.

Dr Gonzi pointed out that people in Spain were not finding jobs and among those who did were individuals who had to accept work outside their field of expertise. “There are accountants working as waiters,” he said.

Referring to The Times debate, Dr Gonzi criticised Labour leader Joseph Muscat for saying that the privatisation of the shipyards was a bad idea.

“Dr Muscat is already making mistakes from the Opposition,” he quipped, urging young first-time voters not to risk Labour, warning that Malta could end up like Ireland, Greece, Cyprus and many other countries facing immense problems due to bad decisions.

PN denies Muscat story rumours

The Nationalist Party has vehemently denied rumours doing the rounds on Facebook that it was planning to publish a story on Joseph Muscat’s personal life in the last week of the election campaign.

In a statement last night, the PN said it disassociated itself from such rumours and it did not consider this to be the way to do politics.

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