The government is obviously trying to gain time before the parliamentary vote on the motion of no confidence is taken, hoping that time might produce a solution which is not immediately available.
To justify this manana government says that Labour, in its thirst to gain power, just can't wait to force early elections and that in 1998 the PN had allowed ample time for Labour to try to patch things up with Mintoff.
So much so, the PN maintain, that Mintoff started showing displeasure by abstaining from votes on the 1998 budget late in 1997 and parliament was dissolved after loss of parliamentary majority on the Cottonera project in August 1998.
There is absolutely no comparison between these two positions. Mintoff always made clear that he did not want the fall of a Labour government and did not accept that the vote on the Cottonera project should be considered as vote of confidence.
By contrast Franco Debono has repeatedly stated that he has no confidence in the Gonzi government and will not support a vote of confidence.
In circumstances like these the government has an obligation to verify whether it has a parliamentary mandate, and the sooner the better if we truly believe that the country needs stability and that such stability comes from the normal evolution of the democratic process, not from its denial.