The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Regardless of who the Opposition elects as leader, the Labour Party will win – Robert Abela

Shona Berger Sunday, 12 July 2020, 13:21 Last update: about 7 months ago

Whether the Opposition Leader will be Adrian Delia, Therese Comodini Cachia or anyone else within the Nationalist Party, the Labour Party will win come what may, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday during a Labour party event.

Comodini Cachia is the MP chosen by her colleagues to replace PN leader Adrian Delia as Opposition Leader as the majority of PN MPs moved to oust Delia. The majority of PN MPs made the request for this change to be done, however the President of Malta has not made an official announcement on the matter yet, and thus it is unknown whether such a change will take place..

Addressing Labour party supporters, Abela said that "despite all the chaos that is currently going on, the Labour party will win." He added that such a statement is not said with a sense of superiority and arrogance, "but because we have the Maltese public with us."

He remarked that "while we have the courage to make certain changes in our constitution, the Opposition, at this moment, is piling immense pressure on the President as they are imposing on him when it comes to using his judgement on how to apply the Constitution."

"This is a situation which the Opposition has created for itself. You will have to find a way to solve the problem you created yourselves," Abela remarked.

He added that "today, more than ever, we must remain humble with our citizens and keep our feet on the ground. Staying close to our people is a very important characteristic for the Labour party, as this will take us forward to further success, and most importantly, maintain our strong government."

"If we begin cutting off our people, if we are no longer united with one another, and if we do not persevere in our work to bring about positive changes for our country, we will fail as it will be a recipe for tragedy."

"We are a party that not only listens to our people, but a party that takes action in order to better the lives of others."

Abela spoke about the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and remarked that "the government will go before the European Council in the near future to acquire the biggest budget for the country, for the next seven years."

He added that "we will not be happy with getting a mediocre budget. Although it will not be easy, we will work to procure the biggest budget for our country."

Abela expressed that the stark difference between the Labour party and others that go against it, is that "we are a serene government that is trustworthy in its work."

"We are a government of our word as what you see, is what it is. We are not a government that delights in manoeuvres, and this is an important characteristic which is not only being recognised in our country, but also in countries abroad", Abela said.

He added that "such countries believe that they can trust the Maltese government, because we always deliver what has been promised."

"What is very significant about this party is that the public trusts us, and we trust them. This is a relationship that must continually be strengthened, because it is very easy to lose," Abela remarked.

He added that when having such a position "there are no Saturdays, no Sundays, no nights and no days when it comes to maintaining a strong government, but the most important thing is that the party continues to move forward, and continues to strengthen itself to be among the best in Europe."

As a government "we aim to work with a genuine style. This involves explaining to the people what is going on, be humble when disagreement arises with certain decisions, be willing to receive criticism and be transparent as this is all turning into very positive outcomes."

Abela made reference to the Coronavirus pandemic and the way the country dealt with the whole situation in recent months. He said that "during the pandemic, several countries were tested on their resilience, on how much one could withstand the three sectors which were most impacted by several countries. These include the medical, social and economic sectors."

"As a country we were very successful. From a medical point of view, to this day, other neighbouring countries cannot recover from the pandemic, but in our country, we have experienced the contrary as we are living absolute normalcy."

"A normality that has resulted in people being able to live a normal and tranquil life." He added that "other countries still do not have the possibility to do this, as some are still in a lockdown phase and others are trying to figure out ways on how to recover."

Abela highlighted that the European Commission spoke about the countries in Europe and the way they dealt with the whole pandemic. He said that "according to the European Commission, Malta is the only country that will recover from the effect next year."

"This shows that both on a medical and economic level we were successful, and we will be a country which moves to the forefront of the whole situation," Abela added.

He further highlighted that according to Eurostat Statistics, in the first quarter of 2020 Malta had the highest year on year employment growth, and was one of four Euro area economies to still grow despite COVID-19.

Abela said that "although our country has been rated as A+, we are never happy, as despite being very proud of what has been accomplished we can always do and be better tomorrow. The biggest mistake is to slow down our work."

He highlighted that "above all, now more than ever, we need to continue giving the business community the trust and support they need. We want to be a government that is both pro-market and pro-business."

Abela remarked that "as a business-friendly government, we are not happy with how things are, as there is always more to be done. However, the manner in which our country is recovering goes to show that we have confidence from the business community's side."

With regards to the subject of immigration, Abela said that "through cooperation with the Libyan government, Malta managed to control the situation of the large number of migrants who were entering into the country."

"Every day we have hundreds of migrants trying to come to Malta or to Lampedusa. However, through the work we are doing with the Libyan government, we have managed to control it.

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli also spoke during the Labour party event. She said that "there is a big difference between the two main parties within the country. There is no one bigger than us all together. There is no one bigger than the party itself, and above all, there is no one greater than a country."

"In this moment in time, it is our responsibility to be courageous. We are interested in what we are going to do to better our country and help its people, because in the face of all this chaos that we are currently going through we cannot remain passive, but now more than ever our responsibility as the Labour party is much greater."

She added that "in recent years we have done a lot of good, but mistakes were also made. Nowadays we have to be vigilant, and if we are aware that a mistake has been made, this needs to be addressed."



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