Current Affairs
“The coming budget will be a good one despite the effects of Covid-19” – PM

Interviewed on One TV, Prime Minister and Labour Leader Robert Abela stated that the coming budget will be a good one despite the effects of the pandemic, and those who are suffering, among them pensioners as well as the tourism industry, will be looked after. Dr Abela stated that during the special summit in Brussels this week,  he had delivered a strong message, including on migration, as he is proud to be Maltese and proud of the country. Dr Abela congratulated the new Nationalist leader Bernard Grech and invited him to the National Labour Centre so that they could discuss themes which can take the country forward.

The Prime Minister stated that despite the effects of the pandemic, the coming budget will be a good one, and those who are not faring well, among whom pensioners as well as workers in the tourism industry, will be catered for. Dr Abela added that the budget will spur national projects, with the Government implementing projects which will boost the country’s tourism product, with priority for environmental improvement, more embellishment in the country, and more cleanliness.

Questioned about this week’s special European Council summit, the Prime minister declared that contrary to those who are saying they are ashamed of being Maltese, he is proud to be Maltese, and in regard to a hot potato like migration, he stuck to a strong and clear position that the country is ‘full up’, and can no longer continue to accept more migrants. Dr Abela added that there had not been any irregular migrant arrivals throughout September, as these were stopped from arriving in Malta, and in reference to a boat with 38 migrants which arrived on Saturday from Morocco, efforts are underway for these migrants to be repatriated. Dr Abela appealed to Nationalist leader Bernard Grech to maintain a common stand on migration policy, in that the country cannot cope with more migrants, and this will mean that localities like Hamrun, Marsa and St Paul’s Bay will also be heeded. Dr Abela also appealed to Dr Grech, who is part of the same entity which had sought to send him, the Armed Forces Brigadier and members of the army to prison because of the migrants’ issue, to desist from this behaviour. He also appealed for the Opposition not to disrupt Government efforts to stop migrant arrivals in Malta.

Dr Abela stated that whilst the Nationalist Party were more intent on electing a new leader during the months of the pandemic, the Government distributed 45 million euro in vouchers to the people, and this had led to a shake-up of the economy. The Prime Minister added that unemployment had dropped by 0.4% whereas it had increased by 0.8% in Europe, and 1,000 persons who had been registering for employment had found jobs, this being the result of the country’s economic policy. The Prime Minister added that in the month when the Government had invested 30 million euro in wage supplements in order to save jobs, and thanks to the thriftiness of a Labour Government over the past seven years, the country was in a strong position to combat the pandemic and reminded that this Government has already launched this year three financial packages before the coming budget.

Questioned about the role of women in the country’s political sector, the Prime Minister stated that Government has proved it is giving women senior roles, among whom Dr Victoria Buttigieg as Attorney General and Professor Carmen Sammut as Chairperson of PBS. Dr Abela added that for the coming general election he will introduce a mechanism through which Parliament will enjoy more female representation. Dr Abela further stated that he augured politics away from tribalism, but this is what national unity brings, adding that as Prime Minister his vision is for the people to have peace of mind, with Government solving the problems through hard work for the country to move forward.