The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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PN slams Abela over defence spending comments

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 17:59 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Nationalist Party has struck out at Prime Minister Robert Abela over comments he made regarding defence spending.

On Sunday, Abela had said that "We believe in peace, and others believe in wars." He had said that the government aims at investing in people and not weapons, in what was seen as a jab at EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola. "We don't believe in bigger investment in arms, we believe in investment in people and peace, as that is the key to economic and social progress," he had said.

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The PN "condemns the Prime Minister, who in his discourse indicates that he does not want to invest in the Armed Forces of Malta." The PN said that investment in defence and the AFM is an investment in peace in the country and the surrounding area. "The hypocricy and actions of the Prime Minister are irresponsible and very dangerous in light of delicate international situations, such as Russia's illegal invasion of a sovereign state," the PN said.

"It is irresponsible for the Prime Minister to show two faces, which is leaving an impact on the integrity of the country at an international level. The attack he launched on EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola stinks of unrestrained partisanship."

"Faced with a threat to security in EU and neighbouring countries, Roberta Metsola is stressing on the need for the EU to be able to defend itself and its democratic values. Abela, instead of looking at the interests of our country first and foremost, is only looking through the red vs blue lens."

"The Prime Minister is being hypocritical. He is boasting and insulting with partisan arguments, and then ends up changing tune in European fora, including when discussing defence and security around the decision making table. The inconsistency, hypocrisy and lack of seriousness by Abela are a threat to the security and defence of our country."

PL reacts

In reaction, the Labour Party said that the PN is not shy when issuing a statement using the AFM to justify a message in favour of war. "Members of the PN and its allies wanted to through AFM soldiers in jail for doing their jobs."

"The government's message in favour of peace is consistent both in Malta and abroad. That is why in the past months our country was chosen as an interlocutor for peace, and the PL and government will continue working that kind of politics," the PL said.

"There were those who saw occasion for photos and with their actions sent a message in favour of escalating war," the PL said. "And then, instead of answering about it, left through a parking area of an education institution."


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