Prime Minister Robert Abela has challenged Opposition leader Bernard Grech to take action against five of his MPs – namely his predecessor Adrian Delia, Jason Azzopardi, Stephen Spiteri, Kristy Debono, and Hermann Schiavone.
“Despite serious allegations against them, [Grech] has done nothing against them and he won’t do so because he doesn’t have the authority,” Abela told a political activity in Rabat this morning.
The Prime Minister warned that “ugly” allegations have been made against Delia. Although he didn’t specify what allegations he was referring to, it may have been a reference to how Delia’s head of media Pierre Portelli was found to have been using murder suspect Yorgen Fenech to leak damning stories about PN MPs, the party’s youth wing and Delia’ own estranged wife Nickie Vella de Fremeaux to the press.
“There are shocking allegations against Delia and yet Grech won’t lift a finger. Maybe it’s because he wants to keep Delia quiet and is scared he’ll do to him what was done to him.”
He then called out Azzopardi, who has admitted to accepting a free holiday at a Tumas Group-owned hotel in Israel four years ago, as well as Schiavone and Debono, who had asked Fenech to sponsor a conference two years ago.
Abela’s focus then turned to Spiteri, who has instituted constitutional proceedings to stop a Medical Council inquiry looking into how he issued medical certificates to patients he hadn’t seen.
“Not only did the PN appoint a COVID-19 action team which never takes decisions, but it’s led by someone [Spiteri] who is facing procedures related to false medical certificates.”
“With the same rationale that was used for Rosianne Cutajar, how are you appointing him to lead the COVID team? These are the inconsistencies and the main difference between us and the opposition”.
He praised Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar for resigning as Reforms Parliamentary Secretary pending an investigation by the Standards Commissioner into her dealings with Yorgen Fenech.
“I promised serious leadership and I’m carrying out my promise; when you’re a force for good you must take hard decisions. Rosianne put the country’s interests ahead of her own, during a period when she was working strongly in favour of important reforms, reforms which won’t stop.”
“She maturely decided that while she had to clear her name, as she has every right to do, this shouldn’t impact the government’s work.”
Addressing his supporters, he said he understands their anger at seeing Labour politicians resign but their Opposition counterparts “abdicate all responsibility” but urge them to understand that they must lead by example.
“Don’t think we’re weak. Yes, we’re intelligent but we’ll never be weak. Maybe it hurts right now but we’ll emerge stronger in the end.”
What do you make of the Prime Minister’s speech?