The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

We deal with our difficulties privately - Bernard Grech

Sabrina Zammit Thursday, 4 August 2022, 15:24 Last update: about 9 days ago

Everybody has their difficulties, and like every family, we deal with them privately, PN leader Bernard Grech said during an interview on Thursday. 

Speaking to Dione Borg on NET FM, Grech – when asked about the most recent internal strife to hit the party involving former deputy leader Robert Arrigo – said that “everybody [within the party] should work towards one goal in the name of the interests of the country.” 

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Speaking in third person, the PN leader said that nobody should strive to damage the name of the party or its leader as one’s love for the party should begin before one finds himself in an executive position. 

Former PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo lashed out at Grech, saying that the PN leader lied about his own party and to himself on national TV about an internal report on the Naxxar mayor was concluded months ago, but Grech said that it had not yet been finished. 

Arrigo claimed in an unflattering post on his Facebook page that the leader of the Nationalist Party lied when asked on TVM News Plus's Xtra at the beginning of June about the findings of the inquiry against Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami. Grech refuted the allegations in a statement. 

“Every time we weaken the party, we weaken the country, especially when saying things which are not true,” he said.

Grech continued by saying that if there are ever any true statements, “let’s discuss them within the organs of the party”. 

Inflation diminishing the quality of life 

Grech said that inflation is diminishing the quality of life of Malta’s citizens, saying that he knows of pensioners who have an €800 pension but have to spend around €500 on services and medicines for their health, and “if it weren’t for their good spending habits they wouldn’t manage”. 

“Unlike the PL, the PN believes inflation is an important problem that should not only be discussed but also tackled with solutions,” said Grech. 

He added that the PN is addressing the issue with facts and “solutions and the party has a plan.” 

He added that the government should stop ignoring the living income proposal which the PN has suggested and start discussing it. 

Grech also said that the government is wasting millions of euros on paying Steward Health Care to take care of three hospitals – hospitals which the party said are in a constant state of deterioration. 

From a never ending waiting list for an MRI, where people are receiving appointments for the next year, to structural problems at Mater Dei, the problems continue to emerge, he said. 

Another problem which Grech touched upon is the treatment of nurses, as “millions are still being given to the company which takes care of the hospitals” – another reference to Steward. 

Grech said that in its recommendations to stop excess spending, the government should cut down on its corruption first and foremost. 

Security on a national level 

On national security the PN leader expressed his disappointment that police officials are being left to work and carry out their duties in horrendous police stations. 

“Unfortunately there is an issue [police being left to serve in horrendous conditions] and it is seriously affecting the quality of life our citizens,” he said. 

Delving into the matter he said how he had recently visited the Hamrun police station and was horrified with the very bad state it is in. 

He said that the government has forgotten about the police force as apart from being understaffed it still continues to ignore the PN’s proposal to still let police officers work while still receiving their service pension. 

“The police department have been left out from the government, and in return the nation has a demoralised Police Force,” he said. 

He said that the country is feeling that the government is abandoning its national security, making people fear for their lives on a daily basis. 

“We cannot have a government that is not willing to invest in the security of the country,” he said. 

Work-life balance directive 

On the work- life balance directive, Grech said that the government introduced the directive at the last possible moment and with the bare minimum of requirements. 

He said that the government did so as it does not want to “have issues with the EU” and that in actual fact it does not believe that such a directive would lead to a more peaceful family environment. 

“The government did not do a consolation on the matter and we are going to do what they didn’t”, he said.

Tourism and Air Malta situation 

Grech said that Air Malta employees were promised many things before the election, many of which now are not going to be fulfilled. 

He spoke of how a few months ago, Finance minister Clyde Caruana had revealed that the pre-2013 Nationalist Air Malta plan had been ditched completely, and said that it now has no plan. 

“Air Malta is moving backwards, and workers are being left to suffer the consequences” he said. 

He said that the government should do its utmost to save the national airline but not at the cost of the worker.

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