The Malta Independent 6 June 2023, Tuesday
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‘The vaccine is the foundation of our road back to normality’ - Robert Abela

Giuseppe Attard Monday, 15 November 2021, 18:45 Last update: about 3 years ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela urged the public to stick to vaccine appointments “since the road back to normality depends on the actions of everyone.”

Speaking in Parliament on the financial estimates of the Office of the Prime Minister, Abela reiterated the importance of taking the Covid-19 vaccine. He said the health authorities have not advised an increase in restrictions, but they do not recommend relaxing measures, either.


“The news that other countries are reinstating mitigation measures is worrying, to say the least, but thanks to our vaccination numbers we are in a good position to pave the way to normality. The situation is clear as day and countries who have low vaccination rates find themselves in unpleasant situations.”

Abela said that, so far, 76,000 booster doses have been given and he urged everyone to respond to the call and get vaccinated.

He then shifted focus and hit out at Nationalist Party agenda “aimed at disrupting the work the government is doing through the budget proposed a few weeks ago.”

“We are here in Parliament to help people by reducing fuel prices and maintaining the economic growth we have achieved. When the budget is put to the vote, we would be voting to increase pensions, increase stipends, add more medicine on the government formulary and most importantly prolong and increase the tax refund scheme at the benefit of more than 250,000 people.”


Pandemic recovery

Throughout the pandemic, Malta has retained the lowest fuel prices throughout Europe, in contrast to what happened under previous PN governments, Abela said. “Had Malta been under a PN government, people would have had to spending an extra €5 weekly on petrol.”

Abela than also jabbed at the Opposition for going against German-based rating agency Scope Ratings.

Scope Ratings has based this decision on the foreign investment Malta is attracting, Abela said. “The PN is painting a picture of the end of the world, while Scope Ratings is commending not only our recovery work but the growth and strength of our economy.”

Abela also quoted European Commission economists who stated that Malta would have the highest economic growth post pandemic.



Abela said the migration challenge did not go away during the pandemic, and it was a continuous battle to reduce the numbers as much as possible.

Thanks to talks being held with the Libyan government, numbers have reached an all-time low. “Malta used to have around 2,000 migrant arrivals and now we have the lowest statistic in the past 20 years.”

The problem does not lie with Libya but with its southern boarders, the prime minister said.

A holistic approach to the migration effect on Malta is needed but, unfortunately, is not always there, Abela said with reference to the lack of support with burden sharing.

“We are going to contributing to helping those who need help but we are going to remain rigid on those who abuse of the process. We are also pushing now more than ever for burden sharing. Although this process exists, unfortunately it does not always prevail.”

In his closing statement Abela said that “as a government we are driven by a politics of love to our country. Thats why we put forward the budget with the highest number of environmental measures ever. More than ever this budget is building the foundations needed for the future of our country.”

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