The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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PM says 8 June elections will form the future of localities

Sunday, 14 April 2024, 11:29 Last update: about 2 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela stressed the importance of people voting in the upcoming local council and MEP elections.

The Prime Minister addressed a Labour Party political activity in Rabat on Sunday.

"Don't let those who say that the 8 June elections will change nothing lure you into that narrative. The elections will form the future of our localities. They will form the future of Europe. They will form the future of our country," Abela said.

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"Why am I so convinced of the importance of these elections? There are elections that will decide whether Malta should continue with the dynamism we created the past years, whether we will continue having the resilience we had the past years. You saw Simon Busuttil speaking, and he said that the Maltese lost trust in the country, I say they lost trust in you," he said in reference to Busuttil.

Abela said that being a people's government means going to the people, listening to their perspectives and then working on the way forward. He spoke about the social challenges in the country, and about recent investments made. "We improved the working conditions of 1,000 FSWS workers, who work with the most vulnerable in society. We signed a new collective agreement, with unprecedentedly strong working conditions, career progression etc." He said by doing so they gave more dignity to 1,000 families.

He spoke about investment in an elderly care home in Gozo that was recently opened. "There were some who asked us why we wouldn't go for a commercial investment instead, perhaps a hotel. We said we want the best for our elderly. We gave the most beautiful facility to the 123 elderly people who will live in this home."

Abela said that they continued to dialogue with the community, mentioning a meeting he had with village feast enthusiasts. "We listened to them as to what they believe the Maltese Festa should be," he said, with the aim of continuing to build on the UNESCO certification of the Maltese Festa as intangible cultural heritage.

Abela said that he also met with sportspeople and listened to what they believe the future of sports in Malta should be.

"When setting up these meetings, there were those who said that after the pandemic, society became indifferent. I never believed that. I believe our society is participatory and that society wants to form our future of the country. These meetings really show how we have a society that believes in strong communities," he said.

He spoke of the Nationalist Party. "You heard a former PN MP say that Lawrence Gonzi is still pulling the strings in the PN. Don't let them take us back. They think that the people forgot the high energy bills, that the people forgot the highest unemployment rate while they were in government, that the people forgot that our country used to generate energy from dirty fuels. Those were the realities back then. Today I believe our country is passing through an economic miracle. Look what is happening abroad."

Abela spoke of the importance of pushing the message of peace wherever they are. "Other countries are passing through a recession, have high fuel and energy costs. We provided stability in energy and fuels," he said, pledging to keep that stability.

He spoke of the 1,000 proposals in the PL manifesto, and said that from the first day in government they began implementing one after another. "I am satisfied with the rate of implementation of the manifesto pledges. I am happy that our heart was always in the right place, as it was with the needs of the people."

He spoke of the challenges over the past years, including the pandemic, and also spoke of protecting the economy and jobs. He mentioned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the war in Gaza, again mentioning the Maltese government providing stability for the people.

He said Malta's economy is the best performer in Europe. "In 2013, we inherited a country that had 8,000 unemployed. Today we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country's history."

Turning to the Stabbilta scheme, which is a price-stability assurance scheme which saw the price of 15 categories of imported basic food items reduce by a minimum of 15% below the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) on the RRP as on 31 October 2023, in an agreement reached with importers and retailers of food products, Abela said that if the PN were in government the PN would stop it, "as they never believed in the people."

"They did everything to stop us from introducing it."

 


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