The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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PN to call no-confidence vote on three ministers after Sofia inquiry

Andrea Caruana Monday, 4 March 2024, 16:35 Last update: about 3 months ago

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech has said his party will be tabling a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in the three government ministers who oversee entities said to have displayed shortcomings in the events leading up to the death of Jean Paul Sofia.

In a press conference outside Parliament on Monday, Grech said that the party would be tabling the motion on a day that it can be debated immediately, and that the motion would seek confidence votes in Environment Minister Miriam Dalli, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Lands Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.

Grech said that the PN deems it unacceptable that a “comedy of errors” takes the life of a person.

He said that the Prime Minister is “gambling” with people’s lives should these ministers maintain their roles, and added that he is surprised no other entities are as outraged as the PN.

As the Opposition, he said that it is their duty to keep the government in check, adding that if it wasn’t for the PN’s action, the public inquiry would not have been appointed.

He said that the fear concerning construction from work safety to people’s private homes being possibly in danger is unacceptable.

He added that he was approached by an individual recently going through such an ordeal and that despite filing reports, nothing was done.

Published last Wednesday, the Sofia inquiry found that several state entities exhibited shortcomings at different points in the run-up to the tragic December 2022 collapse which claimed the 20-year-old’s life.

Prime Minister Robert Abela has said that responsibility is to be shouldered by CEOs and board members of these entities – which includes the OHSA and Malta Enterprise – but has stopped short of demanding the resignation of any of his government ministers, who supervise those entities.

PL responds

The PL responded to Bernard Grech’s call for a vote of confidence and claimed it is nothing more but a ‘gimmick’.

For the PN, the public inquiry is nothing but a source of political gimmicks. This motion being put forward is just another gimmick, the PL said.

It added that whilst debate was being carried out in parliament on the matter, Bernard Grech left parliament to pursue his gimmick. It said that while Bernard Grech was outside, important changes were occurring in parliament.

The PL said that government sees the public inquiry as an instrument with which to reform the construction sector. This is why as soon as it was published, the government began to explain the necessary reforms and how they will be carried out. This was done openly in parliament, it said. 

It further said that these changes were proposed during Nationalist government by its MPs yet it was a Labour government seeing them through.

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