Bernard Grech compares removal of banners at Russian embassy with Caruana Galizia memorial clearance

Grech urges Prime Minister Abela to soften heart and show Malta's values on Ukranian invasion

PN leader Bernard Grech (Photo: PN)
PN leader Bernard Grech (Photo: PN)

PN leader Grech drew parallels between messages of support and tributes to the Ukrainian people placed in front of the Russian Embassy and the clearing of the memorial to murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Speaking at a rally in Xaghra, Gozo, Grech said he had on Friday appealed to the prime minister, asking him to refuse to grant Maltese passports to Russian citizens, but observed that 24 hours later the Prime Minister had only said that he would follow the EU’s direction.

“We must show that the Maltese have values and support other peoples,” Grech said.

“We cannot remain indifferent, we cannot remain cold, frozen before pain, death, before the invasion suffered by a people like us, human and European. “I appeal to the Prime Minister, soften your heart. In politics there is a need to feel the pain of other people and offer them support.”

Measures for Gozo

Grech pointed to other countries which had already blocked entry to Russian billionaires and refused to host football games involving Russian teams.

Grech has promised to end the Steward Healthcare agreement over Gozo’s hospital and commission a new 400 bed general hospital on Malta’s sister island.

 Grech bound himself to provide investment which would render tangible results for Gozo, comparing it to Labour’s unkept promises. “The St Joseph Home is a monument to a Labour government that starts something and never finishes it,” Grech said. “It’s like a billboard that everyone can see.”

If elected Prime Minister, Grech said, he would build a new MCAST campus for Gozo, increase the capacity of the Mgarr terminal, as well as commission and publish studies on alternative transport links to Gozo.

Amongst the other electoral promises made by the PN leader are equal pay for residents of Malta and Gozo, the construction of a new MCAST campus for Gozo and the setting up of a regional council for Gozo.

“Today, more and more people are telling us that today they realise that Labour are just a facade,” Grech said in his 90 minute speech.

“We used to build a school every year. We built an airport, a power station, infrastructure, telecommunications…today tens of thousands of people are still benefiting from them.”

Grech told the crowd that it was the PN which built Malta’s financial services and tourism industries. “The PL found them ready. And that’s what we want. When the farmer sows the seeds, he sows them for everybody. The rain falls on everybody.”

The PN leader railed against what he described as the endangering of Malta’s reputation and its safety. Addressing Prime Minister Robert Abela directly, he said “be ashamed and go hide your face.” 

Arriving at the village square in a black Mercedes, Grech took his time to shake hands and greet well wishers, taking selfies with some, to a soundtrack of upbeat music.

Thanking those present for their support, the PN leader said he had an extraordinary welcome in Rabat. 

Grech praises PN’s preparation for electoral campaign

“I don’t like absolutisms. I’m not going to say we’re going to be the best in the world… those are empty words. I look people in the eye and tell them the truth.”

“I told you we were going to be prepared, and we are prepared, not only to campaign, but if the people place their trust in us, also to govern…I keep my word. That is also a value. You don't need 250 billboard to keep your word or for the people to notice that we keep our word.”

He encouraged voters to look at the PN’s track record. “Yes the past. Do not let anyone make you forget the past. The good times under a PN government and the bad times under a PL government,” Grech said.

People aren’t afraid of showing their support to the PN, he said. “They, too, want to bring change to this country.

Emphasising his closeness to voters, “the university of the streets” as he referred to it, Grech said he was not perfect, but would endeavour to correct mistakes he made.

“I make mistakes, like everyone else. But when I make them I recognise them…A politician is not a king, he is a normal person who left his family in the service of others,” Grech reminded the audience, expressing pride at his Jesuit education which encouraged him to be a man for others.

He also had words of praise for Claudio Grech, whom he described as a “pillar of the party” as the crowd gave a standing ovation. “He will continue to work with us, if you give me your trust.”

“I kept my word. We are prepared. I gave my word that the party will be united and we have a united party, I promised a regeneration, and we regenerated the party.”

Grech also said he would be using the “politics of logic and common sense, based on research, on facts and on what the people are feeling,” quipping that “common sense doesn’t seem to be very common in this government.” 

“Abela has big internal problems, shadows of the past catching up with him even in daylight”

“Once the mask falls, the decay starts to show,” Grech said.”