Bernard Grech: Labour sold Malta for bribes so the preferred few can benefit

PN leader says Labour’s actions in ‘selling Malta’ for bribes so that ‘corrupt officials in government can profit’ has led to a lower quality of life in the country

Labour’s actions in “selling Malta” for bribes so that “corrupt officials in government can profit” has led to a lower quality of life in the country, Bernard Grech has said.

“Labour has normalised bribery,” he told supporters gathered in Valletta for a protest on Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds attended the protest organised by the PN against the Labour government and the way it is handling the rising cost of living.

Grech said that “no one can deny” that the Labour government has been riddled by scandals. “All this so the preferred few in Labour can profit for themselves.”

PN leader Bernard Grech
PN leader Bernard Grech

He said Sunday’s protest is against those who have sold off Malta for their personal interests.

“The Labour Government has stolen from you the quality of life and the standard of living you deserve,” he said.

Moving on to the increase in cost of living, the PN leader said government is making up excuses to cover for its own mistakes, “instead of working to solve them.”

He said the government has increased the country’s debt to record levels, using the pandemic as an excuse. “The excess debt has been spent on the preferred few and to buy votes.”

Grech stated government has given up on growing the economy using the skills of the Maltese, instead opting to “import migrants” so that they can be exploited. This, he said, is in turn leading to an “attack” on Maltese nationals’ wages.

The PN leader then spoke about Malta’s justice system, calling for the immediate removal of Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg.

He mentioned the case of Iosif Galea and Pilatus Bank, and said that with his inaction, when the Police did not arrest persons who are subject to an arrest warrant, Justice Minister Jonathan Attard ended up covering for Pilatus Bank on the pretext that the institutions need to be allowed to work.

 “It is unacceptable for the AG to take secret decisions which bring to nothing the work done by the inquiring magistrate,” Grech said. “The longer she takes to resign, the more damage suffered by the country’s institutions.”

Grech said that under a Labour government, the environment has never been a priority, stating environmental destruction has become the hallmark of this administration.

“The institutions which are supposed to be there to protect the environment, have ended up protecting those who destroy it,” he said. “The same institution that was supposed to advise him on protecting the environment, issued him permission to build an illegal villa.”

Grech also mentioned briefly the citizenship sale scheme and what he called the waste of public funds, including the €140,000 spent for the PM’s contingent to New York last week.

“We want this robbery to stop. We will not let them tamper with your quality of life. We started with actions... and we will not stop. We have been in court through the inquiries we have opened. We have been in court for hospitals. We have taken the PBS and the Broadcasting Authority to court, and we will go to court over the theft in electricity and water bills,” he said.

He said the pressure by the opposition on government will continue, and promised the party will be taking more actions in the coming days.

Gozitan youth Kevin Curmi also addressed the protest, slamming government’s environmental policies.

“Government wants to build a future of environmental destruction, construction on ODZ and profits before wellbeing,” he said.

He also slammed the privatisation of the Gozo ferry. “Haven’t you privatised enough of Gozo?”

Lawyer and PN candidate at the last election, Mary Muscat, also addressed the protest, calling for the introduction of a government department with the powers to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes.

Veteran PN activist Joe Zahra also spoke on the challenges faced by the elderly due to the increase in cost of living. “There are a lot of elderly who are not keeping up with their pensions. These people are not living, they are surviving.” 

“Don’t let them steal our quality of life,” Zahra said.