Labour MP Robert Abela, who is vying to become Prime Minister next month, has warned protestors that he won’t accept “certain lines being crossed”.
“I tolerate peaceful protests but I won’t tolerate anyone who destroys my country,” Abela said on ONE. “I’ll be very clear; I won’t accept certain lines being crossed.”
However, he also claimed that the true goal of people protesting for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia is to provoke their political opponents into a reaction.
“I believe that the only aim behind these protests is to provoke, and the moment one of us slips up would be the moment the protestors would win their greatest victory possible,” he said. “I understand that the government’s message is to keep calm and order, and thats how it should be, but this doesn’t mean that protestors should be able to do as they please.”
Abela’s intervention comes a day after Moviment Graffitti activists staged a protest at Castille, blocking the main entrance to the Prime Minister’s Office for several hours and prompting the Armed Forced of Malta to completely shut the doors off. Another group of people, including two sisters of the late Caruana Galizia, reacted to this denial of public access by blocking the road and banging on the doors of Castille.
Provocation is assassinating your critics, allowing the mafia to take over, protecting criminals for years, looting our nation.
— Roberta Metsola MEP (@RobertaMetsola) December 10, 2019
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola hit out at Abela, stating that the true provocation lies in the way Caruana Galizia was assassinated and the way criminals who looted Malta were protected for years.
“Provocation is sending in the army for a dozen activists, barricading public spaces and conducting vile disinformation campaigns,” she said. “Provocation is selling off our hospitals to speculators; pouring laundered concrete onto our trees; it is polluting the air our children breathe forever; it is when you destroy the lives of hard-working honest citizens who play by the rules.”
“Provocation is defending the indefensible for a handful of votes; it is allowing rampant corruption at every level of society; it promulgating the politics of hate and division to protect the mafia. It is the lies, half-truths and stonewalling.”
“The nerve. He should be apologising to the nation his Party betrayed. He should be grovelling for forgiveness and promising plans to ensure this never happens again. And he has the gall to talk about provocation. Disgusting.”