Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech said government failed to keep its electoral promises by warning that it must ‘tighten its belt’ and be more frugal with public spending.
In an interview on the PN’s media station, Grech remarked that while government is being forced to tighten its belt in certain areas, Prime Minister Robert Abela spent €140,000 to take a 30-person delegation with him to the UN’s General Assembly in New York.
The delegation included three ministers, Abela’s immediate family, several people from the Office of the Prime Minister, and no journalists from the independent press.
Grech said that many people have approached him or PN members expressing a sense of disappointment and claiming that their quality of life has dropped.
“People are angry with the cost of living, so much so, that many are experiencing difficulties,” he said. “We experience environmental destruction and unbridled construction, traffic everyday despite a €700 million project that was supposed to solve these problems, three hospitals hijacked by the private sector,” he continued.
Grech said that the PN is giving people a chance to turn their anger into action by attending a national protest organised by the party next Sunday in Valletta.
He added that the party’s court campaign on utility bills is still ongoing. The campaign will see the PN going to court in a class action lawsuit against the government over utility bills issued in the past eight years at a surcharge.
Back in May 2021, the PN had launched a campaign for the refunding of overcharged utility bills, inviting those affected by overcharges to register interest in receiving compensation.
Grech said the PN is taking the initiative on this “so that people don’t have to wait for the Nationalist Party to come into government to take back their own money”.
He briefly touched on the citizenship-by-investment scheme, insisting that people who buy Maltese citizenship need to demonstrate a genuine connection to Malta before being handed a passport.
Earlier on Thursday, the European Commission announced that it will be taking Malta to the European Court of Justice over the citizenship-by-investment scheme.
Grech also touched on the appointment of the Ombudsman and Commissioner for Standards. The two appointments require two-thirds majority support in parliament, meaning the Prime Minister and Opposition leader need to reach a consensus on who will take these positions.
However, the two remain at a deadlock over who will replace the current Ombudsmand and Commissioner for Standards.
Grech insisted that the he is not being hard-headed with the appointments. Instead, he argued that the impasse is coming from the Prime Minister’s side.
“What more flexibility do they want from me when I’ve been writing to the Prime Minister for months asking to meet and discuss the appointments?”
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