Robert Abela and outrage over that ice cream in Ragusa: ‘I understood the reaction’

Robert Abela is asked about the flavour of the ice cream he was eating in Ragusa this summer and the negative reaction it provoked in Malta as coronavirus cases surged

Robert Abela was captured on mobile phone footage while eating ice cream on the promenade of the marina in Ragusa last August as COVID-19 cases in Malta peaked
Robert Abela was captured on mobile phone footage while eating ice cream on the promenade of the marina in Ragusa last August as COVID-19 cases in Malta peaked

It was the middle of August and as coronavirus cases in Malta spiked, Robert Abela was off on a weekend trip on his boat in Ragusa with family.

Mobile phone footage doing the rounds on social media of the Prime Minister during an outdoor spinning class at the Ragusa marina and walking along the promenade eating ice cream, caused outrage back home.

While the Deputy Prime Minister was announcing new restrictive measures in Malta to combat COVID-19, the Prime Minister was holidaying in Sicily.

Abela had insisted at the time that he continued working remotely, coming back to Malta for a brief period and darting off back to his boat in Sicily a few days later.

Returning to the subject today after being asked by TV presenter John Bundy in an interview on ONE TV what ice cream flavour he was eating, Abela said he understood the people’s reaction.

“I don’t remember what flavour I was eating because I like them all… but I understood the reaction [to that video] because you had people who may have wanted to go abroad but were fearful [because of the pandemic],” Abela replied.

He said politicians had a right to a few days off with their families but the indignation was understandable.

“This was a summer where we did not stop working… but I did find some time to spend with my family because I feel it is important because it helps you to recharge,” Abela said.

However, he added that being prime minister was a job that required continuous focus and public scrutiny was to be expected: “It comes with the job.”

READ ALSO: Abela holidays in Sicily. But in Ireland, COVID-19 trip costs tourism chief his job

More in National