The Malta Independent 23 January 2021, Saturday

‘It would have been senseless to leave out new talent’, PM says on Cabinet reshuffle

Karl Azzopardi Wednesday, 25 November 2020, 13:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

It would have been a waste to not make use of the new talent that was introduced into the Labour Party’s Parliamentary group, Prime Minister Roberta Abela said when answering questions from this newsroom regarding last Saturday’s Cabinet reshuffle. 

Last Saturday, Abela announced a Cabinet reshuffle which saw four new ministers being appointed while three others had their ministries changed. 

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Notably, just a few days before this announcement, Abela was asked to give an indication of when a Cabinet reshuffle may happen which was still just a rumour back then. 

He had replied by saying that he will call for a reshuffle when it is in the nation’s best interest. 

Today, The Malta Independent asked what changed over just a few days to make a Cabinet reshuffle necessary. 

Abela replied by referring to his previous answer, adding that in his opinion “Saturday was the day which was indicated to have a change in Cabinet.” 

“Let us not forget that there was an introduction of new talent in the PL parliamentary group and it would have been senseless to not use it at an executive level,” he explained. 

He said that he feels privileged to have so much talent to choose from within the party’s parliamentary group who would be able to contribute on a government level. 

“I think this is the thing that separates the two sides of the house of representatives; on one side we have ample talent to choose from while on the other the talent is what it is.” 

Asked why it is necessary for Malta’s Cabinet to be so large (ranking as one of the third largest Cabinet in the EU), Abela reiterated that it would have been a waste to leave out someone who can help in government, noting that the Cabinet increased by one member only. 

“When you look at the value that these people bring I think that the balance is very much in favour of keeping them in government while also holding the best interest of Malta and Gozo in mind.” 

Abela was also questioned about former Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis’s comments about being dismissed from his post where he said that this hurt both himself and his family. 

When asked for his opinion on this comment, Abela said that Parnis is a good friend and has remained loyal to the government and appealed that no one should try to hurt a man who gave himself fully to his people. 

He added that, factually, Parnis’ portfolio (Elderly Persons and Persons with Disability) has been elevated to a ministry which shows the importance that the government is giving to these sectors. 

Abela was also asked how Justyne Caruana was given a post in government as Education Minister when she had resigned earlier in the year due to the relationship her husband Silvio Valletta had with alleged mastermind of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Yorgen Fenech. 

“She was elected as she is competent. The couple has broken up since then so my decision was based on what she has achieved personally and she it has been proved that she was personally not involved in any of the allegations”, he said.

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