[WATCH] In Bernard Grech’s playbook, the reviled Joseph Muscat is now a victim

After being reviled for nine years by the Nationalist Party, Joseph Muscat has suddenly turned into a victim for Bernard Grech, who also recognises the surplus achieved by the Muscat administration

Bernard Grech
Bernard Grech

Bernard Grech is attempting to write a new script for the Nationalist Party’s playbook on Joseph Muscat, calling him a victim.

In a bizarre twist to nine years of constant criticism of the former prime minister, who resigned in a storm of controversy in 2019, Grech also recognised Muscat’s achievement to register a surplus in public finances.

Grech reiterated on Thursday that Robert Abela’s failure to deny giving Muscat intentional bad advice to take his place, suggests the former prime minister may have been a victim.

The PN leader was asked by MaltaToday during a press conference at the Upper Barrakka Gardens to justify the party’s apparent change of heart on Muscat. Grech’s surprise stance on Muscat came during Wednesday’s televised debate with Prime Minister Robert Abela.

PN supporters used to listening to party exponents dissing Muscat and his administration would have been baffled by Grech’s victimisation of the former nemesis in chief.

 “I have been criticising Joseph Muscat since 2011 and will continue criticising him but Robert Abela has not denied giving wrong advice intentionally and so in the circumstances Muscat would be a victim,” Grech insisted, asking journalists to ask Abela the question.

Grech was also asked about his reference in positive terms during the debate of the Muscat administration’s surplus and his criticism that Abela squandered it.

But on Thursday, Grech went one step further in his description of the surplus during the Muscat years, recognising the achievement.

“It is evident that the projections in public finances that a PN administration left in 2012 were correct, and Joseph Muscat managed to achieve those projections and attain a surplus,” Grech said, blaming Abela for running public finances into the ground with higher debt.

Saturday's decision: 'Oppression or freedom'

Grech insisted people had a decision to make on Saturday on the future they wanted for their country. He said the PN was offering a vision that was costed.

“The choice is between a more oppressive state and arrogance, or freedom. On Saturday, Malta can choose a different road where your freedom is safeguarded but for this to happen we need a strong vote for the PN,” Grech said.

He insisted the PN was not perfect and admitted mistakes were done. “I ask for your forgiveness but the price we will pay is too high. Ours will be an authentic, sensitive and caring government.”

Grech insisted that with the PN under his helm, “what you see is what you get”, urging voters to play their part as well.