Grech criticises government’s 'management by crisis' approach to the COVID-19 pandemic

Opposition leader Bernard Grech says government is 'incompetent, arrogant and refuses to listen to the experts'

Opposition leader Bernard Grech
Opposition leader Bernard Grech

Nationalist leader Bernard Grech has criticised the government’s “management by crisis” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said it was being arrogant, incompetent, and stubbornly refusing to listen to anyone”.

“This is not a proactive government: this is management by crisis. This is an incompetent, arrogant government which refuses to listen to anyone: not to experts, not to social partners, and certainly not to those wanting to give advice on how to do things better,” Grech said.

The opposition leader was being interviewed on party radio station NET FM.

His reaction comes after earlier this week government rolled out new measures in light of a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, which have been mainly attributed to English language schools across the country.

In a reaction to the measures on Saturday, the PN said they were “extreme and discriminatory”.

The Nationalist leader said government either does too much or too little when handling the pandemic, showing it has no plan, while refusing to listen to the experts.

He said the party had long recognised the threat variants will pose, and that is why it had recommended stronger controls on inbound tourists.   

“They laughed at us; then when tourists started coming and spending hours in queues, they had to figure out what to do,” Grech said.

Questioned on Sunday’s MaltaToday survey, the PN leader said the survey has showed the gap between the two parties has been reduced by 9,000 votes.

“It shows that we are advancing. Is it enough? No. Do we need to work more? Yes,” he said.

The survey showed that both Abela and Grech increased their support with 1.2 points and 1.1 points respectively. Despite the increase, the gap between the two leaders is still at 21 points.

The nationalist leader was asked on the recent FATF greylisting, saying that government’s refusal to hand over the correspondence between it and the FATF showed it wants to conceal the truth.

Grech said that he will continue meeting with constituted bodies, whom he said are not being consulted either, to listen to them and to share what they say.

“It is the PN which can bring the country out of this”, he said.

On the party’s general council, he expressed his enthusiasm about the PN’s prospects, saying it is home to people who want to do good for the country.

Grech also insisted government’s amateurism and decisions have destroyed the country’s credibility. “It is only the PN who can build back this reputation.”