[WATCH] Robert Abela refutes claims over knowledge on Macbridge ownership

Prime Minister Robert Abela insists country’s reputation taking turn to the better

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Il-Prim Ministru u Mexxej tal-Partit Laburista, Robert Abela intervistat mill-ġurnalisti.

Posted by Robert Abela on Sunday, 28 June 2020

Prime Minister Robert Abela has refuted claims that he knows who owns the owner of Macbridge is.

Macbridge, alongside alleged murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black, intended to deposit €2 million every year, into offshore accounts set up by former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.

Abela also denied that in a cabinet meeting held in November 2019, the Montenegro windfarm deal was discussed. Yorgen Fenech’s pardon, which had been denied, was also discussed during the meeting.

Interviewed by journalists from three newsrooms, Keith Micallef from the Times of Malta, Chris Peregin from Lovin Malta and Claudio Coleiro from L-Orizzont, the PM was speaking n party television station ONE Television.

Abela said that since January difficult decisions have been taken by his administration, which he stated were designed to strengthen the Labour Party and Malta’s reputation.

Sticking by his decision to not expel former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat from the parliamentary group, Abela said that while Mizzi was facing allegations in the Montenegro windfarm scandal and had been named in the Panama Papers, Muscat was not.

Insisting he finds no issue with Muscat staying on, Abela played down statements that he refrained from removing the former PM in fear of the internal backlash received.

Robert Abela also insisted the country’s reputation is already taking a turn to the better, stating Malta is now in line with recommendations made by the Venice Commission, which had outlined various short comings in the country’s rule of law.

Vowing that government would not be interfering in the police’s work, he called out the opposition for their absence in new police commissioner’s Angelo Gafà’s grilling by the Public Appointment’s committee.

Fielding questions on Air Malta, Abela said it is up to the pilots to decide their future, stating he wanted the airline to be part of the country’s tourism recovery.

He warned Air Malta would not step back from proceeding with redundancy plans if pilots resisted the airline’s plan, stating all other unions have contributed, while pointing out the ones with the lowest wages made the greatest sacrifices.

The PM played down rumours that the country is headed for an early general election, acknowledging it would be his easiest option.

Abela said it would not be the best decision for the country, with Malta needing stability and as its focuses on the economy while transitioning out of the pandemic.