Grech and Delia on Xarabank: the main takeaways from the quick-fire interview

Only the essential: snippets from Bernard Grech’s and Adrian Delia’s quick-fire interview with Peppi Azzopardi


Party unity

Grech: He says that his election as leader, party unity will follow and will be the first step towards the strengthening of the party.

Delia: He says Grech is a representative of an older, pre-2013 face of the PN while he was chosen by the party members. His target is still to enforce his ‘new way’ with new faces and to strengthen the party. He said people who are working against unity, specifically Jason Azzopardi, should not be part of the group he will lead.

Party leaks

Grech: He says discipline inside the party is important, and people responsible for leaks from the party will face the music as laid down in the party’s rulebook.

Delia: People who breach the party’s trust should be sacked.

Franco Debono

Grech: he says the PN’s one-time enfant terrible Franco Debono is “very capable” individual and that anyone is welcome in the PN as long as they are team-players and want to work in the national interest.

Delia: Franco Debono is no outcast and many like him, which he described as the PN’s upcoming generation that was scared off by the PN up until 2013. “There was an entire migration of support because of the PN’s closed-circle way of deciding… it lost us the election. The door of the PN must be open to those we mistreated.”

School reopening under COVID-19

Grech: says that he would have no problem in sending his own children to school as long as caution under the guidance of the health authorities is exercised.

Delia: “a difficult question…” - he said his children’s schools have been very communicative and that they have heeded public health directives.

Robert Abela on holiday during COVID-19’s second wave

Grech: “I think everyone has a right to their recreation. The PM found himself facing COVID-19 soon after his election as Labour leader, so he needed his rest… but we must understand that under the second wave of COVID-19, people were hurt seeing him enjoying his ice-cream.”

Delia: Every politician has a right to rest, but he should not have left the country at a time of national emergency.


Grech: a one-time opponent of divorce legislation in the 2011 divorce referendum, but he considers the subject as ‘case closed’ and that he always accepted the democratic result of the referendum.

His biggest mistake

Delia: He said he has not trusted his gut instinct enough and instead listened to ‘oldschool’ politicians.


Grech: says he would not ignore the people’s say in a referendum. “It is a democratic tool that cannot be ignored.” Grech said he is pro-life, but that should a referendum for an abortion law pass, he would respect the decision in parliament if he was prime minister; but as an MP, should he be given a free vote, he would vote according to his conscience.

Delia: He says there should be no referendum on abortion. He would be against, and do “whatever it takes” to campaign against a referendum on abortion. He would “totally” vote against abortion in parliament if it passed in a referendum. He does not even want to discuss the matter, he said, but help woman who consider abortion.

Yorgen Fenech: pardon?

Grech: If Yorgen Fenech had important information to give to police, he should be eligible for a reduction in time served, or even a pardon. He said he never met Yorgen Fenech.

Delia: It should only be based on all the information available at that time, and only by those who are authorised to take this decision when they determine that it would lead to something bigger. On the WhatsApp messages he received from Yorgen Fenech, Delia said he has never denied having received the messages. Delia said he had dinner with Yorgen Fenech once with a group of businessmen; he did not have dinner with Fenech when he was invited to do so in a WhatsApp chat which he answered, even when it was known that Fenech was the owner of 17 Black.

Egrant redux

Grech: wants an inquiry that actually reveals who the owner of the secret Panamanian company Egrant.

Delia: The previous Egrant inquiry did not reveal who owned the company, so he agrees with having a new Egrant inquiry.

Corruption fight

Grech says he would resign if he knowingly picked someone corrupt for his team; but if someone in his team was found to be corrupt, he would make them resign.

Delia: He would not resign for someone else’s corruption.

Migrant pushbacks

Grech says he does not agree with indiscriminate migrant pushbacks. Pushing back migrants with the risk of drowning is not an act of charity, Grech said. He said Malta should not send migrants back to Libya if their lives are in danger. He also says the burden of migration is not necessarily an issue of those who entering Malta irregularly, but also from legal migrants to Malta. “Balance is important… once we restore our reputation in Europe, we can demand better solutions for migration, not just for those leaving Libya but inside their country of origin.” He also said he doesn’t think Malta is ‘full up’.

Delia: “The risk of killing people at sea” should not be taken. But he said Malta is not able to take more foreign people than it currently has. “Malta is not only full up… we are in a situation where we have ghettoes. It is not a question of racism. There are foreign people who are not even living in humane conditions. People who have a right to asylum should find a place in Europe, those who do not get asylum should be sent back to their country of origin.”

Life sentences

Grech: thinks there should be a reconsideration of life sentences, and agrees with a legal and rehabilitation process after

Delia: he agrees with life sentences. He disagrees with capital punishment.

Recreational cannabis legalisation

Grech: he opted for a balanced approach that takes into account both sides of the debate, without discounting the needs of drug addicts. But he showed himself unwilling to go for legalisation of cannabis. He also said that he has never smoked grass.

Delia: He does not believe in recreational cannabis… and he declares to have never smoked grass.

Gozo tunnel

Grech: He is in favour of a high-speed underground connection if the Gozo tunnel does get built.

Delia: There should only be a tunnel for mass transport if Gozitans decide so.

Professional MPs

Grech: He wants MPs to be full-time politicians with a better salary.

Delia: He agrees with full-time, well-paid MPs.

Adrian Delia/Bernard Grech

Grech: Positives for Delia - high energy, and determination.

Delia: Positives for Grech - calm and composed, inspires trust.

One radical proposal

Grech: He wants to improve teachers’ conditions, by increasing staffing that helps teachers, and to bolster critical thinking in education.

Delia: He wants alternative energy and a 50% cut on electricity bills.