International companies have already set their eyes on Malta as it prepares to approve legislation that would allow for the production of cannabis for medicinal use, Joseph Muscat said this morning.
Speaking at the Mosta Labour Party club, the Prime Minister referred to tabled drafted legislation that is meant to make access to medicinal cannabis easier.
He said people who were breaking the law by buying such medicine online for their suffering relatives were also risking medicinal quality, and the new laws would ensure that the imported goods benefited from Good Manufacturing Practice standards.
Meanwhile, international companies have expressed interest to not only import this treatment, but also start manufacturing it here and export it to other countries from Malta, Dr Muscat added.
In his Sunday sermon, Dr Muscat referred to the increased employment opportunities that outnumbered the pool of Maltese workers.
“Some have called on the government to put on the handbrake and stop attracting investment,” he said, adding that this was not the right way to go about it.
“In a globalised world you need to be ready for any eventuality… This way, in cases of emergency, when people are laid off, we can find them an alternative place of work.
“That is why we need to continue creating jobs,” he said, drawing comparison between globalisation and a treadmill.
“If you suddenly stop running because you are tired, you will fall… We are in the race to win it.”
Speaking about the Individual Investor Programme, he insisted that the electorate had given the government a mandate to renew the programme, and that is why it was consulting with the public.
He noted that the government was bound to invest 70 per cent of the profits. If and when EU funds ran dry, the moneys invested from the IIP were part of a fallback position, he added.
The Prime Minister urged against “genuine” disgruntlement about foreigner workers in Malta by referring to former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff’s “dream” in the 1960s.
“I always remember Mintoff’s words in the 1960s when he spoke of the migration phenomenon that saw the Maltese seeking employment in Australia and the US.
“His dream was to see Malta having enough job opportunities for our own people and to start attract people from abroad. We are turning this dream into reality.”
Referring to the health sector, he said it would have taken the country at least 15 years to rehabilitate the Gozo General Hospital, Karin Grech and St Luke’s.
Moreover, the Maltese would not be forking out a cent, he added, questioning the opposition to private partnerships when the previous governments had reached such agreements when it came to health services in homes for the elderly.
“It is either a sour grapes situation or an attitude of negativity throughout,” he said.
In his address Dr Muscat also referred to PN MP Edwin Vassallo’s opposition to the domestic violence bill this week.
He said that while he respected his frankness, he could not understand how someone could vote against a law that prevented gender-based violence, with the blessing of the PN leader.