The Malta Independent 8 August 2020, Saturday

Alfred Grixti says Facebook rant justified as it was posted ‘after office hours’

Gabriel Schembri Friday, 16 September 2016, 10:59 Last update: about 5 years ago

The CEO of the Foundation for Social Welfare services Alfred Grixti told The Malta Independent that his Facebook account is a personal one, not ‘work-related’ and insisted that he expressed himself in ‘his personal capacity’ when he made a comment on the PN MEP vote regarding Leo Brincat.

Alfred Grixti, a former Labour Party official who is now chief executive officer of a public entity, has pledged 'an eye for an eye' approach after Nationalist Party MEPs joined the European People’s Party and other MEPs in declaring a ‘no’ vote to Leo Brincat’s nomination on the European Court of Auditors.  He wrote this in a Facebook post last Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Replying to questions sent by this newspaper, Mr Grixti defended his Facebook rant by arguing that he did so after office hours. “What I do, say and think outside my normal working hours is my business as long as I do not break any law of the land. Expressing an opinion in any way, shape or form is not, as far as I know, breaking any law. In fact, it is a constitutional right.”

“The phrase ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ is a biblical one and is no longer taken literally ... translated into contemporary parlance it would translate into something on the lines of ‘If you want to do hard ball then we can do hard ball."

Mr Grixti, who works in a public entity that deals with people with social issues from both sides of the political spectrum, further wished to clarify that by his phrase “the people will pay back the PN for this action,” meant that the public will show their disapproval in the polls.

“Finally, the bottom line is that the PN, through its MEPs, has sought to score a local political point on foreign soil, despite the fact that no one voted against Leo Brincat per se since no one could cast any doubts either on his integrity or his ability”, Mr Grixti added.

Quoting Sir Winston Churchill, Mr Grixti concluded by saying “when I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticise or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home."

Back in December, the government had issued a Policy on the Use of Social Media in the Public Sector. The document lists guidelines for employees and those employed by the public sector on their use of the social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

This was not the first time that a simple Facebook status stirred controversy.  Such statuses had even led to a drastic measure by the government.

In August 2015, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo banned all ETC senior management from having a Facebook presence after the CEO, Philip Rizzo, posted a comment beneath a photo uploaded by one of his subordinates wearing a one-piece swimsuit telling her that she was “the only ETC Head of Division with the three Bs… Brains, Boobs and Balls.” 

  • don't miss