The Malta Independent 20 April 2024, Saturday
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Democratic deficit growing, Robert Abela controls country’s institutions – Bernard Grech

Saturday, 18 February 2023, 11:55 Last update: about 2 years ago

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said that the country’s deficit in democracy is growing, as government continues to control important institutions in favour of the Labour party.

In a telephone interview on NET FM Saturday, Grech criticised the country’s institutions, namely the national broadcaster PBS, the office of the Attorney General, as well as government asking beneficiaries of the wage supplement to now return the money given.

Grech said around 1,500 persons are being asked to give back the wage supplement, which was given by government to businesses who were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said that these persons were told they were eligible for the supplement, and given said supplement before the general election; however, months later they are being asked for the money back, with the government claiming that they were never eligible in the first place.

“This is not acceptable, and people were betrayed. No one in government has taken responsibility or apologized. This is because everyone feels as if they can do anything because there are no consequences,” Grech said, appealing to independent media to take this fact and investigate it.

On PBS, Grech said that nowadays, nobody doubts that the institutions, including PBS, are governed by Prime Minister Robert Abela and his friends.

He said the case which the PN opened against PBS in court will close on Monday, and the PN will consider taking any action needed to protect the rights of minorities.

Grech spoke about the Attorney General, saying that many prosecutions ended up failing and serious crimes were let off as though nothing happened.

He reiterated that the office is governed by Abela’s government in order to protect Labour members from facing consequences of corrupt actions.

Grech appealed for Justice Minister Jonathan Attard to take immediate action and dismiss the AG, as her position is no longer tenable. Otherwise, government will remain accomplice of many crimes, Grech said.

Grech was asked about this Carnival weekend, where many will be celebrating Carnival in both Malta and Gozo. Grech commended enthusiasts for their skills and creativity, despite challenges they might face.

Grech criticised government for prioritising projects which can garner millions in Ministers’ pockets, while ignoring important projects for the people. He said that the promised Carnival Village has yet to have a plan, and government did not justify the delay.

“Government must invest in our culture and traditions, as well as many other projects such as the new mental health hospital, the mother and child hospital, and more,” Grech said.

Grech said that despite the short week for carnival, the PN’s work will continue, which includes the PN’s case against PBS on Monday, and the case against Vitals Healthcare on Friday, reiterating that government is defending and giving millions to hospitals while giving them to foreigners.



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