Bernard Grech says overpopulation root of all problems facing the country

Opposition leader Bernard Grech claims government hiding true figures of country’s population • Nationalist leader says Clayton Bartolo should resigns from PAC after giving witness abridged questions in advance

Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Opposition leader Bernard Grech has claimed the problem in overpopulation is the root to all problems in the country.

“The population has grown substantially and nearly doubled since 2013, and that is because for this government the importation of foreign workers is the only solution to its shortcomings in the economic sectors,” Grech said.

The Nationalist leader was speaking during the debate of the Budget estimates of the Office of the Prime Minister.

Grech also claimed government is hiding the true numbers of the country’s population.

“There are two possible situations: either the government is hiding the true numbers of the population, or it does not know who is entering and leaving the country,” he told parliament.

The PN leader also said a number of the country’s sectors in the country are faltering, mentioning the case of an elderly woman who was prepped for an operation, only for the surgery to be cancelled at the eleventh hour.

He also mentioned the case of an LSE who complained with Grech that the majority of her students are foreign, as well as the case of a woman who is afraid to get on the bus because of the large numbers of foreigners.

“Why are we regressing not advancing in so many sectors in this country?” he asked.

Bernard Grech also slammed the lack of vision government has in the long-term. “We saw a €700 million investment in the country’s infrastructure, but despite all that money, we still get stuck in traffic.”

“Instead of a race to the top, we have a race to the bottom,” he said. “This is a government without a plan.”

He said the country deserves a government which knows “what is going on.”

Grech said a Nationalist government would carry out a renewal, not just a shift, of the country’s economic model.

“Renewing the economic model means restoring the country’s reputation, to restore the qualities which make investors and countries respect us in international fora,” he said. “We will eliminate this economic model of modern slavery.”

Clayton Bartolo should resign from PAC

The Nationalist leader also made reference to Tuesday’s PAC incident, when it was revealed that Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo had passed on government’s questions to the witness it has called in front of the committee.

Bartolo was caught passing on a rough draft of his questions to economist Gordon Cordina ahead of him testifying in front of the committee.

At the start of Wednesday’s parliamentary session, Speaker Anglu Farrugia ruled Bartolo was incorrect and failed to act according to procedure when giving a witness in the public accounts committee his questions beforehand.

Grech said Bartolo should resign from the PAC, and if he does not do so willingly, should be removed by the Prime Minister.