The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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‘Remember that when you weaken the PN, you are weakening the country’ – Bernard Grech

Albert Galea Sunday, 16 October 2022, 12:31 Last update: about 2 years ago

Nationalist Party Bernard Grech had several angry words for those – both outside and within – attempting to undermine his party, saying that by weakening the PN, one is weakening the country.

Speaking at a political activity in Mosta on Sunday, Grech referred first to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia – five years to the day of her death – saying that people frequently told him to stop mentioning her.

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“That’s what they want us to do: to stop mentioning Daphne.  But the more they want us not to mention her, the more we need to keep mentioning her and her work because she died for you,” he said.

Grech said that one can go to the vigils as he would do later in the day, and go to the commemorative mass like he had done, but that it would be for nothing is “we are going to stay hiding behind money or behind our job.”

“If we are going to work to weaken our party – and this goes for both those working in the party and those outside of it who undermine it even through their reporting, for instance… remember that when you weaken the PN, the only party in Parliament which can stop the oppression of Robert Abela’s government, you are weakening the country,” he said.

“What you are doing is damaging the Maltese and Gozitan people,” he added.

He referred to the dramatic events in court on Friday, when Alfred and George Degiorgio pleaded guilty to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and said that the search for truth is still ongoing.

“This was another step forward: one which happened because there were a lot of people who worked on a legal level and at an activist level, but also because there is a PN which is determined to keep uncovering the truth,” he said.

Grech said that failing to uncover the truth will not allow the country to heal.

He referred to the government’s proposed media reform bills – which have now been frozen after Abela’s administration eventually relented to days of calls for the opening of a public consultation bill – and said that the government had learnt nothing.

“They silenced Daphne by killing her, and now they are going to try and silence other journalists by implementing laws which will keep them quiet,” he said.

He put down the government’s decision to open the bills for consultation as being due to the PN’s “determined strategy” and due to the persistence of journalists themselves, and added that Abela should withdraw the laws from Parliament altogether rather than simply freezing them.

Grech also addressed criticism that the opposition was “asleep” by giving an overview of the work which the party had done over the previous month.

He said that the party had carried out its own consultations on the journalism reforms, demanded an investigation into the alleged corruption in the Marsa flyover project, called on the government to address the cost of living problem, started the legal process for people to receive compensation for over charging on their electricity bill, revealed that there were plans for the Gozo Channel to be privatised, and opened a court process to challenge the awarding of a tender for a cancer treatment machine.

Grech said that this week the party will also be publishing its pre-budget document which is the result of the work of a team headed by its finance spokesperson Jerome Caruana Cilia to show the direction in which it wants the country to go.

PN MEP David Casa also addressed the event, and focused his speech on the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

He said that she used to suffer the consequences of her work, not those who she exposed, and added that “we left her alone against Castille’s political machinery.”

“We now have four people who have admitted their involvement in the killing: but Daphne wasn’t killed because the brothers woke up one morning and decided to kill her.  She was killed because the highest officials in our government were robbing us, and Daphne caught them.  Daphne was right,” he said.

“The biggest scandal now is not that she was killed; it is that those who she uncovered are still running around outside,” Casa said. 

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