The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

‘The Prime Minister is out of touch with reality’ – Bernard Grech

Friday, 30 July 2021, 11:24 Last update: about 3 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela is “out of touch with reality” as he wants the country “to forget what we went through during these past years,” Bernard Grech said in Parliament.

The public inquiry into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, published on Thursday, held The State responsible for the murder of the journalist.

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In yesterday’s reaction, Grech said that the Prime Minister should kick Joseph Muscat out of the Labour Party and strip him of any honours bestowed upon him by the State. He also said that the Prime Minister should apologise to the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Maltese people, on behalf of the State, for the impunity that led to the journalist’s murder.

Later on that day, the Prime Minister apologised for the shortcomings by the State that led to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

However, in reaction to the Prime Minister’s speech, the Opposition leader was left unimpressed by the Prime Minister.

“He wants to tell us that he is new, when he has been there for years. I have been offering my hand for help from October,” the Opposition leader said. “To work together, you have to help humility first; the acceptance that you are not the source of the beginning and the end.”

Grech also said that he doesn’t agree with the Prime Minister that for saying that “has a good relationship with journalists … that is why you have been avoiding giving them an interview.”

He criticised the Government for choosing “to demonise and isolate” Daphne Caruana Galizia. “They chose to protect the criminals. They are facing impunity. They get away with murder. This is what this room needs to hear. They want us to forget the past, but that is how history repeats itself,” he said.

Quoting from the inquiry, Grech remarked that it said that the cabinet was more concerned with increasing wealth of some people – some of them who were implicated in the allegations – than reacting to defend those who were in serious risk because they were doing their work. “Whoever wanted to eliminate her, could do so with the least consequences,” Grech said.

The inquiry “says it in a clear way that the state was guilty of creating this climate of immunity,” Grech remarked.

He said that the Prime Minister “is still protecting diverse persons who should have been in court a long time ago. The candidate of continuity is still defending – or is still afraid, and still defending – Joseph Muscat.”

Grech remarked that he is “satisfied” that the Prime Minister has accepted the invitation to work together to amend the situation. By the 16th of October, Grech said that he would like to see most of the reforms and recommendation made through the public inquiry implemented. “We want today’s session to be just the start of the process, and that is why we want a parliamentary committee to be introduced so that they are implemented in the shortest period of time,” he said.

On another note, the Opposition leader criticised the fact that there still sitting ministers who made a negative contribution to this case, such as Minister for Equality, Research, Innovation and the Co-Ordination of Post COVID-19 Strategy, Owen Bonnici, “who gave orders so that the memory of Daphne is cleared up 500 times.”

Finally, the Opposition leader said that as a Prime Minister, he still doesn’t know where Robert Abela stands. “You will never be in my position, you just said, and I hope that I will never be a Prime Minister of a corrupt Government… find the courage to deny Joseph Muscat!” Grech exclaimed.

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