The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Grech outlines early plans in first speech as PN leader, to meet Delia on Monday

Albert Galea Sunday, 4 October 2020, 13:44 Last update: about 17 days ago

Bernard Grech used his first speech as the new Nationalist Party leader to outline his early plans for the party, while also revealing that he is set to meet his now predecessor Adrian Delia on Monday in order to discuss what position the former leader will have within the party.

In the beginning of his speech, Grech thanked Delia for the past three years, and said that he firmly believes that Delia has a role to play in the party.  Indeed, he said that he will be meeting him on Monday in order to discuss his position in the party vis a vis the party’s shadow cabinet.

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Grech said that on Saturday – which is when he was elected as leader - “a race between friends finished”, and that the real race against “a strong and well-prepared adversary” begins on Sunday.

“We need to talk about hope – I don’t want a party resigned to lose; I want a party which believes it can win”, he said.

Changes within the party

Grech announced a number of changes which he will immediately start working on.

First and foremost is the creation of an editorial board which will be tasked with coordinating the party’s message across all its mediums.

Meetings with the parliamentary group and the party’s executive are also going to be held in the coming days, while Grech will be meeting the party’s health and education spokespersons immediately in order to strengthen the party’s fight against the pandemic and in order to ensure that education is more assured.

A fundraising marathon will also take place on 11 October, while Grech said that he will also be requesting a comprehensive report on the state of the PN’s finances.

A Talent Hub is going to be created within the party as well in order to attract new talents to the party, while an organised system for meetings with people and families in the public will also be set up.

A person will be appointed to work on the party’s electoral programme for the next election, while AZAD will be instrumental in preparing new candidates for the said general election, Grech said.

New economic forum, national conference on population and immigration

Grech revealed that the party will be setting up a hub dedicated to the Economy, Finance, and Tourism in order to bring together people experienced in these fields in order to come up with an objective assessment of the current situation before putting forward proposals.

Grech said that the party will also be calling a national conference on population and immigration, bringing together all the stakeholders to evaluate the present situation and preoccupations associated with it.

On Covid-19, Grech said that political responsibility must be shouldered for the outbreak of the pandemic inside elderly homes, which has resulted in Malta’s death toll increasing, to the point that the country currently has the highest mortality rate in the EU.

He said that he will also propose that the gender balance mechanism for parliament will be implemented before the next general election, while reiterating his promise for a female deputy leader for the party.

He said that the fight against Steward Healthcare and Vitals Global Healthcare will also continue, and said that the party will be tabling a motion in parliament for the setting up of a public inquiry in this regard.

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