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Parents waited until 'last minute' to register for free transport, PM suggests

Not expecting system to be perfect immediately

Joseph Muscat. Photo: AFP

Joseph Muscat. Photo: AFP

The high number of students on the waiting list for the free transport could have been a result of parents rushing at the last minute to register their children, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat suggested this morning.

Speaking during a question and answer session on One Radio, Dr Muscat said that he was not expecting a perfect system from the first day, acknowledging that there was sure to be complaints while everything falls into place.

“There is not a single mini-bus that is not being used and we are in a situation where there are a number of these students - possibly because the parents decided at the last minute after seeing others rush to be part of this scheme - who have yet to get a seat.

“We are working on resolving the issue. We are not expecting everything to be perfect from the first day and we expect complaints. These are complaints that are expected when you have such positive measure introduced for the first time,” Dr Muscat insisted.

Moving to migration, the Prime Minister reiterated that the government was working on ensuring that those who have no permission to work in Malta are sent back to the country they came from, adding that there would be efforts to ensure safety in localities popular with migrants.

Dr Muscat added that the government was also evaluating the possibility of introducing cameras in areas where crime and public disorder is rife.

“There might not necessarily be police present all the time in these areas but if we have cameras in place, these discourage anti-social behaviour and these could also help identify those causing trouble faster,” the Prime Minister said, adding that this would be done with respect to data protection and privacy rules.

On Brexit, Dr Muscat repeated that he believed everyone would benefit from the UK not leaving the EU, saying that the bloc was moving towards a period of uncertainty.

He called on Maltese nationals living in the UK as well British living in Malta to make themselves known to address certain issues and ensure that their residency situation is in order.

Criticising Opposition leader Adrian Delia on a number of remarks he made during the Nationalist Party’s Independence Day festivities, Dr Muscat said that it was ironic that the PN leader would comment on domestic violence when he voted against amending laws that helped victims.

He went on to urge victims of domestic violence to seek help, insisting that relatives of victims should also make sure that those being abused speak up.

Dr Muscat also shot down claims by the Opposition leader that youths were only interested in drugs, noting that his experience with the hundreds of young people he met regularly was a different one.

“I meet hundreds of youths and the least thing they talk to me about is drugs. Instead we discuss opportunities and how to improve the country. They’re very excited about technology and blockchain, for instance and I have to sometimes take notes myself because they are more knowledgeable. They also criticise me about the environment sometimes and I listen.”

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