On Sunday morning, the Opposition leader, Dr. Bernard Grech, rammed home his point that the Labour Party government had persisted with its mistakes through the way it it went on defending Keith Schembri, despite the allegations that had been made.
The allegations came after court findings on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s revelations, which saw Keith Schembri and others, arraigned for corruption and money laundering.
The Nationalist Party leader said that “This country is better than the people who are being accused. We have to understand why we are here. There were people who weren’t doing their job properly in government, and a government that was voting to defend these people. It was not only a mistake, but they persisted in their mistake. This is diabolical.”
Dr. Grech stated that those same individuals who were then in government when this was happening shouldn’t be there to lead a change. He added that “Today, it is easy for the government to say that it is doing all it can, but the same people who persisted in the mistake can never be the people to solve the problem. For our image to improve, you need to have a different team. The Opposition is here, giving ideas and it will continue doing so. I always said that these circumstances need to be dealt with in a mature and serious way. We can’t think that with sugar-coated words we will help the country,” he said.
Referring to the Covid-19 situation, Dr. Grech said that the PN had made proposals for a more rigorous screening regime in the ports. “We have been saying this for a long time; since December we insisted. People who were coming from Sicily were not being screened. This was being echoed by experts.”
“The vaccination program needs to continue moving forward. We need to understand that all of us have a responsibility. My appeal is that we need to follow the Covid-19 measures, keep a distance, so that we can continue to fight against the virus,” he said.
With all indications showing that Malta will pass the Moneyval test, Grech said “That is what we want; I welcome this positive indication. But let us understand that various entities said that we shouldn’t have ever been in this position in the first place. Damage has still been done. But today, we have to see how we are going to move forward. We need to see where we are and where we need to go. We need to ensure a good generation of investment, not only through government only, but private companies as well. The Maltese employees need to have peace of mind.”
Dr. Grech pointed out that with regards to health care and other front-liners, the government has to do more to help them out, as there are some who have been asking for improved working conditions.
He added that “I found out that there are employers who took out loans in order to pay people’s wages; I admire them.” Grech condemned the government for consulting with certain frontliner groups on their working conditions.
He said “I am afraid that he thinks the frontliners are cheap. But for me, the frontliners are of immense value. We can’t use laws to hinder them.”
Grech touched on the former PN MP Giovanna Debono’s husband’s case, who was cleared of all charges against him. “Laws should not be used to throw mud at politicians for no reason – Giovanna Debono’s husband was wrongly accused .”