The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Talks to keep bread prices under control, PM says; Abela condemns favouritism

Sabrina Zammit Friday, 18 March 2022, 14:48 Last update: about 4 months ago

The government is holding talks with wheat importers with the aim of keeping the price of bread under control, Prime Minister Robert Abela said today.

Asked by The Malta Independent on what measures the government is taking to limit the effects of the war in Ukraine, Abela said that the government is monitoring the situation with regard to other commodities, including fuel and energy.

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He said that the government has anticipated the impact of the war on the price of wheat and cereals – given that both Russia and Ukraine are among the main producers of the these products – and it has met importers to find solutions to keep the prices stable.

The government has always pledged to remain close to the people since the Covid-19 pandemic started, and it will continue to do so in the wake of the current circumstances in Eastern Europe.

Abela was also asked about a story regarding a Labourite who boasted on the social media of assisting “Labourite brothers” to expedite their medical interventions.

The Prime Minister said that the government provided equal service to everyone, including in the medical sector.

“If a situation occurred in which someone was given a favour, I condemn such behaviour,” Abela said.

Asked about the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, Abela said that if the Opposition Leader says that the election campaign is the solution to the pandemic, it is understandable that people argue that the election is leading to such an increase.

That message from Bernard Grech was irresponsible, Abela said, appealing for responsibility and saying that the Labour Party’s campaign is following a strict protocol and in line with the instructions of the health authorities.

Replying to other questions, Abela denied that he had bought his Zejtun villa for a price less than the actual value of the land. He insisted that the buying price of €600,000 reflected the “real value” of the property. Once again, Abela denied that he had interfered in any way in the planning process, which saw the property regularised by the PA.

He also insisted that the government will keep energy prices stable, including electricity, gas, petrol and diesel.

Abela also said Opposition Leader Bernard Grech is lying and trying to create uncertainty by claiming that a new PL government would ask businesses to pay back the Covid-19 wage supplement.

“We made it clear in the social pact signed in March 2020 that this was a grant. This is crystal clear, and it applies to the grants we are giving and the ones we are still to give.”

Asked about the hospitals, the PM said the court case has now reached its final stages and the government will respect any decision given. The promised investment at the hospitals, however, will take place irrespective of what that decision might be.

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