Bernard Grech tells people to vote and stop Abela from getting more power 'to do as he pleases'

In Sliema, PN leader Bernard Grech accuses the Labour leader of being a ‘serial tax evader’ as he maintains pressure on the Żejtun villa case

Bernard Grech (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Bernard Grech (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Bernard Grech accused Robert Abela of being a “serial tax evader”, challenging him to publish the architect’s valuation of the Żejtun villa he bought for just €600,000.

The Nationalist Party leader implied the contract price for the villa was undervalued, leading to less tax being paid on purchase.

“Robert Abela, publish the report that was presented to the Commissioner for Revenue on the purchase of this villa so that we can know who is a serial tax evader,” Grech charged using the same words that had been directed at him over his own tax woes.

“This price does not convince anyone… If it were you, us; the architect would have valued it at a higher price and forced us to pay more tax on it. But we are not called Robert Abela, you are not Robert Abela,” Grech told supporters gathered in Sliema’s Dingli Street.

Abela purchased the sprawling villa in Żejtun in 2017 just days after the Planning Authority sanctioned several illegalities on the property. At the time, Abela worked as a legal advisor to the PA.

Grech reiterated the accusation that Abela used his position at the PA to influence the sanctioning process so that he could obtain the villa at a bargain price.

The Prime Minister has denied any involvement in the sanctioning process, insisting as well that the price paid for the villa on contract was the only money transacted in the deal.

The PN leader said the Prime Minister was only interested in getting more power to do as he pleases, referencing the land deal Abela made with Christian Borg, a businessperson accused with abduction.

Abela had entered into a promise of sale agreement on a piece of land in Żabbar and on the same day that planning permits were issued for the land to Christian Borg, the PL leader ceded the convenium, making a profit on the deal.

“Robert Abela has always sought to get rich quick on people’s backs, acquiring things by deceit and this is why it comes as no surprise that he lies,” Grech insisted.

Grech urged people not to be complacent and go out and vote on Saturday.

“We are promising a level playing field and we will deliver it,” he said, adding the PN’s vision was to create 10 new economic sectors for the long term.

“Now it is your turn to do your part and vote. You have to vote. Not to give us power. Not to give me power. But to give more power to yourself… Robert Abela wants more power for himself,” Grech told his audience in a final crescendo.

Grech made it a point to emphasises that with the PN, people knew were they stood. “We speak clearly about our proposals. With us you can work, you can work better, earn more, live better.”

Broadcaster urges people to stand up and be counted

Earlier, former One Radio presenter and self-confessed Labour voter in 2013, Angela Coleiro said she will be voting PN in Saturday’s election.

Speaking before Grech, she urged people to “stand up and be counted” because the country needed change.

Angela Coleiro (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Angela Coleiro (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

In 2020, Coleiro had been approved as a PN candidate but she withdrew later that year, citing personal reasons.

Coleiro said she had voted PN in 1987 because the country needed a change in direction after the violence of the Labour administration but felt it was time again for change in 2013 when she voted PL.

“Today, our country is calling on us to vote for change, to vote for the Nationalist Party because it is the one offering a future and security,” she said.

Coleiro praised PN leader Bernard Grech, insisting he was close to the people and felt their needs. On the contrary, she said, the Labour Party had become arrogant and negative. “It is a party that has lost its soul and is cut off from people’s reality.”