The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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Establishment ‘has been trying to stop us since 2013,’ Abela tells supporters

Sunday, 26 May 2024, 12:51 Last update: about 27 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela took aim at 'the establishment' during a political rally on Sunday, saying that for years 'the establishment has been trying to stop us'.

During his speech in which he spent a lot of time urging people to go out and vote for the Labour Party, Abela said that "no matter what the newspapers say, we are zero-zero." This was seen as a reference to surveys showing a PL lead of over 21,000 votes. Despite this, he said: "We are working against all currents."


"The establishment believes that at least one episode can make us lose our strength. Our duty is not to let them, not just for the Labour Party, but also for our country. They have been trying to stop us for years, since 2013, when under the leadership of Joseph Muscat we began changing this country."

"Remember how many protests they held since 2013, how many maneuvers in the open, hidden maneuvers, and even maneuvers abroad there were. But in the most tense moments, we responded with calm. We thought with our heads more than our hearts. The more we were calm, the more they became frustrated, the more actions they made and the harsher their attacks became."

The Prime Minister has been under fire for statements he had made about the magisterial inquiry which resulted in charges being filed against present and former public officials, including former Prime Minister Josep Muscat, former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, former Minister Konrad Mizzi, former Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, and Governor of the Central Bank Edward Scicluna. They are to have their first court sittings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Continuing his speech, Abela said that on Monday he will be in court "to defend the sacrosanct right given by democracy, that a democratically elected government with a majority is left to run this country in the name of the people." This was in reference to another court case, which was opened by the Nationalist Party with the aim of recovering public money paid to Vitals Global Healthcare, which was later substituted by Steward Healthcare, as a result of a 2015 hospitals deal. The deal was annulled last year through a court decision.

"What did the establishment, and Bernard Grech who's strings are pulled by the establishment, do? They filed a case for the right for our country to be run by you, to be taken from Cabinet's hands and be placed in the hands of whoever they want. More than that, this is a case thought up to freeze us, as they believe to scare us, a case that threatens to personally sue members of Cabinet and our children as well," he said, criticising the move to such a personal level. "As I always said, leave the worrying to me, and in my hands. We are capable of stopping injustice."

Abela urged people to give him a strong mandate in the coming MEP elections.

During the rally, Abela also said that he was asked by journalists whether all the work he is doing is due to an election coming up. "Where work comes in, the pedal is always pressed down, election or not." He said that reply is another reason as to why on 8 June this government should again be given a vote of trust by voters.

He asked five questions "the response of which I believe should give you the response for 8 June. When four and a half years ago at the height of political tension I told you to trust me and we wouldn't lose the good we gained, did I keep my word and did we bring back calm? When faced with a pandemic that we had no manual for, I told you to trust me and we would save lives and livelihoods, did I keep my word and bring back normality? When around us wars broke out that brought major burdens and I told you to trust me and those burdens will be carried by the government, did I keep my word and was I your shield? When due to failures for many years we were put on the grey list, I had told you to trust me that day and we would implement all the reforms needed, did I keep my word and our country exited the grey list in record time? When during challenging times where around us there is political austerity, did I tell you to trust me and I would give you 1,000 new achievements and did I keep my word?"

"If you believe the answer to those questions is yes, if you believe we need to continue on this road and don't want us to stop halfway down the road, then I need your vote on 8 June," he said.

He said he will do a lot more if people again place their trust in him. "I didn't do all this alone, but we all implemented it together as with every challenge, thanks to the support of each and every one of you. Continue believing in this party."

"It would be wrong to think the 8th of June is a day like any other, as it isn't. With all its efforts the establishment wants 8 June to be the beginning of the end, it wants to split team Malta in two, it wants Project Malta Together to end. I ask, will you allow them ride on apathy and take away your strength from your hands?"

He spoke about the news this week that agreement was found with the Malta Union of Teachers over a collective agreement. "We also implemented a major electoral manifesto pledge, €1,500 over three years for parents of students who continue in post cumpulsory education."

He also mentioned the news of a new manugacturing investment in the country regarding wind turbine components, among other things.

"The choice is clear. Either you continue backing this plan of work, or we let the establishment remove our focus. They want to take us where we learnt not to go, on the road of confrontation and provocation. That is not our road. They have not understood that the people are bigger than that. They have not understood that if they have learnt nothing, where we needed to learn lessons, we did. That is why on the good we will improve, and where reforms are needed we will reform. That is why we come with a plan before you for every election. We came with a manifesto for the European Parliament. We came with a manifesto for every locality. Look at others, they made a magisterial inquiry their electoral manifesto. Then when they realised that everyone was telling them that they had no manifesto, they wrote a 500-word out of point essay quickly, as it left out the most important sectors for our country. They don't even deserve a passmark for this essay. They left out neutrality, peace, immigration and taxation. They didn't mentione anything purposely, as they bow their heads and say yes to all that Europe wants."

"We are not like that, with me you know where you stand. That is why we put forward a manifesto of proposals."




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