The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

‘Politicians don’t need praise for doing the right thing, it is their job’ – Bernard Grech

Karl Azzopardi Sunday, 25 October 2020, 13:21 Last update: about 2 months ago

Politicians do not need to be praised for doing the right thing as it is their job to do so, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said in reaction to reports and editorials in the media stating that the Nationalist party's reaction to Budget 2021 was too negative.

Last week, the government announced the budget for the upcoming year which was met with a mix of reactions from people and stakeholders working in different sectors. While there was a lot of positive feedback for having a sizeable budget during a pandemic, there were those who believed the budget lacked vision, including the PN.

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During a discussion on party media on Sunday, Grech noted that the media seems to think that the PN reacted too negatively to the budget and said that while he understands this perception, the opposition has an obligation to comment on what it disagrees with.

"We can congratulate the government; however, we have to eliminate this need for praise for things that they do well. Politicians are there to do what is right. If they do so, they are just doing their job. If they fail to do so, the media and the opposition are there to point this out and help the politicians correct their shortcomings."

Government has to provide people with a fishing rod not fish

Turning to the topic of COVID-19, Grech explained that no one knew how to react to it in the beginning, comparing it to a boat sailing in clear seas but which is then hit by a storm.

"As you battle the storm, you try to get to your destination while also removing the water from the boat. This is what we did form March till June with the added help of measures that were suggested by the Opposition. However, once the first wave was over, the government had to ensure that they do not go through the same situation in the future. This is what we mean by having a vision for the future," he said making clear reference to the second wave of the virus Malta is currently experiencing.

Grech believes that the government introduced a number of COVID-19 measures that were rushed in their procurement, and the same applies for this budget. "It issued a lot of immediate measures without showing people where the government is headed with this aid in the next months, so as to avoid people becoming dependent on the government."

"This is why we think the budget is addresses only the short- to mid-term; the government provided people with fish but we are still waiting to have the fishing rod so that we can catch fish on our own next time."

He said that the PL has always had a problem when it came to looking beyond the tips of its nose, basing strategies on immediate results through consumeristic measures. He noted that he will be addressing this issue in parliament on Monday and will provide strategies that bring hope to Malta, which will strengthen the relationship between its people.


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