WATCH: “If he is going to work to legalise abortion, I will fight him on it” – PM on ‘Dissett’
Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he wants good governance by means of which there will be economic progress and prosperity. He added that he will not be averse to taking decisions to bring about stability and normality in the country.
Interviewed by TVM News Editor, Reno Bugeja, during the programme DISSETT which was transmitted live from Castille, Dr Abela said that he is speaking in the same language used by the group Repubblika. Dr Abela said that “I believe that the rule of law and good governance can strengthen economic progress and lead to prosperity, I think that is a common message. The narrative of what the Government. is saying and what groups like Repubblika are saying is the same.”
Prime Minister Abela said that decisions need to be taken to strengthen the rule of law and good governance through the relevant changes in the country which will lead to the message that Malta is a serious country. He added that certain reforms, including the appointment of judges, cannot wait for the Constitutional Convention to be concluded for them to be carried out. He said that he is disappointed that Malta had not implemented other changes to the appointment of the judiciary before the report by the Venice Commission was made.
The PM was firm about the issue of abortion when asked about the interpretation being given by some people on the commitment by Joseph Muscat to work in favour of more civil liberties. Dr Abela said, “if he is going to work to introduce abortion, he will find me fighting him against it.”
Questioned about the future of the reference to the Catholic religion in the Constitution, Dr Abela replied that, “I do not see that there should be any changes. Article 2 of our Constitution is clear. There are changes which need to be made but not that which concerns the issue of religion.”
Speaking about consultants and persons of trust, Dr Abela said that he is in favour of transparency measures which are public and that there should not be more persons of trust than are required. Turning to Nexia BT which had an office at Castille, he said, “I was not comfortable with that situation. I was not comfortable with the damage which was done to our country’s reputation.”
Questioned about the agenda which the Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia made for him regarding good governance, which. included the removal of the Police Commissioner, the Attorney General and the Head of the Civil Service, Dr Abela said he was not about to take lessons from him. Earlier he said that he needed to take more decisions but they will be announced at the opportune time.
The PM said that in the next election, he wants a mechanism to be introduced by means of which more women can enter Parliament. Asked whether this would open to the door for requests by other minority groups, including Muslims, he said that he would proceed according to what was promised in the electoral manifesto which only speaks about equality between the sexes.
Speaking about the issue of the Serbian children, he said that this does not fall under the Prime Minister and that in this issue he would be looking towards a balance between the regulations and the human aspect as well as the interests of the children.
On immigration, Dr Abela said that he would be pressing European countries to do their part and that the burden shouldered by Malta should be proportional.
Dr Abela said he cannot commit himself to a living wage because this would not be sustainable, as opposed to the principle of the same pay for the same work which he said was something concrete.
The PM said that he would be retaining Louis Grech as his consultant. He also mentioned that he wishes to continue the discussion on the decriminalisation of cannabis and is in favour of giving opportunities to more people to have a baby through IVF.