The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

Stop boasting and turn your words into facts, Bernard Grech tells Prime Minister

Janet Fenech Sunday, 1 August 2021, 14:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

PN leader Bernard Grech has called on the Prime Minister to stop boasting about new legislation which has been implemented and to turn those words into facts. 

In a telephone interview on NET FM on Sunday, Bernard Grech spoke about his present assessments on the actions taken by Malta’s Labour party after both the recommendations from the public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, as well as the announcement of the departure of Mark Laurence Zammit from a popular current affairs show after interference from the state broadcaster.  

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Grech was first asked whether he agreed that the state should be held responsible for the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

To this he stated that the public inquiry has made it clear that the Labour government had used all of Malta’s institutions – even those meant to protect the people - to control information, the investigation, the prosecution and saw some of those who should have been imprisoned evade justice. 

Grech argued that the PL had created a climate of impunity, which he described as allowing those who wish to carry out criminal acts to feel comfortable to do so, by guaranteeing that they will be protected and even covered up for.  

Grech was then asked whether he believes Abela remains tainted by Joseph Muscat seeing as Abela has not yet removed him from the Labour party. 

Grech noted that he believed that although Abela should have removed Muscat from government a long time ago, seeing as the Maltese population has already had to face the consequences of the PL’s governance, Abela must at least now stop boasting about what legislations he has put in place, since in his opinion, they still aren't being practiced as they should be on those close to Abela. 

Thus Grech states: “Abela must turn his words into facts.” 

Grech expressed that Abela must put an end to the obstacles he keeps constructing for Malta’s media. He argues that for Malta to properly function as a democracy, there needs to be liberty and freedom from Muscat’s hold so that those who investigate can publish what they find as they find it. 

Grech emphasised that Abela can no longer use the Maltese people’s money to control the institutions to manipulate the country's media as the Maltese deserve to receive the whole truth. 

Grech argues that the PN have already shown the way forward, so that Malta’s journalists will be protected, and that journalism in Malta will be respected and dignified, as he deems it to be a pillar for the success of a modern democracy. 

Grech said that in order for Abela to demonstrate that he is neither Muscat’s puppet and that he does not fear him, he must strip him of the entitlements he has received, and remove him from the Labour party once and for all.  

Grech stated that he believes that Malta’s reputation is still tightly tied to Muscat. 

Acknowledging that during his reign, Muscat had done good deeds for Malta, Grech expressed that the criminal damage he hosted in his government outshines everything and he cannot be allowed to continue luring his shadow on the government.  

Grech demands Abela to send a world-wide message that clearly shows that he is neither controlled by Muscat or is following in his footsteps. 

Since the PL has not yet disowned Muscat, Grech states that Abela is therefore not fit to give back the credibility and honour that Maltese and Gozitans deserve.   

When being asked his reason for attending the recent protest (29 July) - demanding action and prosecutions after Daphne’s inquiry report - Grech described that in being a politician and head of the opposition, he is nonetheless first and foremost a Maltese citizen and thus wants to work alongside the rest of the populace who are also trying to regain the country’s credibility - leaving the current PL criminality behind. 

As he put it: “Today, we must all pull the same rope with the same voice as our country must immediately move forward and be pulled out from the crises that Muscat and Abela have put us in.” 

When asked about Malta’s recent Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) reform, - that is allegedly being used as a propaganda tool for the government, sustained by the taxes of Maltese citizens - Grech said that there is no doubt in his mind that the PBS is being engulfed by Abela and his government. 

Grech described that Abela has serviced PBS with people he knows very well and one is able to notice from the reporting style that the information is being manipulated in order to put the government on a pedestal and in turn disadvantage the PN. 

Since, in Grech’s view, the country should be able to be properly informed, he announced that the time has arrived for the PN to be bold and go beyond ‘working by the book’ and thus, take those actions they deem fit. 

To further hammer his point forward, Grech drew upon the announcement journalist Mark Laurence Zammit made of his withdrawal from his weekly current affairs discussion program on TVM (Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa) on Sunday morning due to his hands being tied by ‘a lot of interference’ from PBS.  

Grech remarked that when Abela became Prime Minister he had closed down Xarabank (the similar weekly television program where Zammit had made his first appearance) and now he has closed down Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa. 

Grech stated that the current PL system is not allowing people in the media to carry out their job properly and that until Abela stops meddling in the media he will be a continuation of Muscat. 

On other hand, Grech says that his party looks down on no one but rather enables everyone to move forward.  

Moreover, Grech recalled Muscat’s ad nauseum claim of being an underdog, when, according to Grech he was rather the opposite of that seeing as he had control of Malta's institutions in his own hands.  

Thus, Grech said that Abela is following Muscat’s footsteps in this regard too.  

By contrast, Grech states that his party is genuine, untainted and will remain on the good side of Malta’s history. He is certain that the PM is capable of reinstating trust in Malta and its media. 

Grech ended by stating that if he becomes Prime Minister, he and the rest of the PN party will establish a new freedom day, this time not from the British rule but from the criminality of the Labour party that have colonised Malta.

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