[WATCH] Robert Abela snubs Metsola, MEP hits back: ‘He is too weak, too insecure, too blinkered’

Prime Minister Robert Abela justifies failure to congratulate Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola for her prestigious appointment because of golden passport ‘crusade’

Prime Minister Robert Abela refuses to congratulate Roberta Metsola after being elected to the second most important post in the European Parliament
Prime Minister Robert Abela refuses to congratulate Roberta Metsola after being elected to the second most important post in the European Parliament

Robert Abela continues to snub Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola justifying his failure to offer congratulations for her new appointment in the European Parliament by citing differences on the golden passport scheme.

The Prime Minister was unrepentant on Monday when asked why he continued to refuse congratulating Metsola, saying he had big reservations over her “crusade” against Malta’s Individual Investor Programme.

Metsola hit back, insisting the Prime Minister was "too weak, too insecure, too blinkered to see beyond his Labour Party brief".

Abela gave Metsola the cold shoulder after she was elected First Vice President of the European Parliament last week.

“I have one reservation on Roberta Metsola. It is not on her criticism with which you can agree or disagree and which at times I believe was justified, but on the siege, the crusade, she has made on the citizenship through investment programme, were we definitely cannot ever have convergence,” he said.

Abela noted the agreement with Puttinu Cares, an organisation that works with children cancer patients, the government had entered into, which was possible because of the money derived from the IIP.

“If it wasn't for the funding of the citizenship by investment programme we probably wouldn't have been able to do it. This is the good that this programme is doing - go and ask Roberta Metsola why she wants to gain political points by destroying this programme,” he said.

Metsola’s appointment is a historic one for any Maltese MEP. She is the first Maltese person to hold one of the top jobs in a European institution, and is the highest-ranking Maltese ever within the European Parliament. 

Abela kept mum on the appointment, failing to acknowledge it publicly on government channels or social media. Other Labour Party MEPs failed to speak out on the appointment too, but she received congratulatory statements from President George Vella and Opposition leader Bernard Grech, among others.

Abela gave his comments after inaugurating a footbridge in Paola that will serve MCAST students.

READ ALSO: History is made as Metsola elected First Vice-President of the European Parliament

Metsola reacts: Prime Minister "far out of his depth"

Roberta Metsola has since reacted to the Prime Minister's comments, dubbing him weak and insecure. 

"Who Robert Abela congratulates is up to him. I certainly never asked him for anything nor have I expected any different from him. But that he is too weak, too insecure, too blinkered, to see beyond his Labour Party brief or that he only sees the country in shades of red or blue should tell you all you need to know about the man and how far out of his depth he is in the office he holds," she said. 

"I am grateful to the members of his Cabinet and many members of the Party he leads who have got in touch and who understood what this means for the country and for every girl and boy looking at getting involved in politics."

She went on to urge girls and boys, particularly girls, to not let Malta's geographic realities hold them back. "We are not as small as our Prime Minister seems to think - there is no limit to your potential," she added.