Abela accuses PN of devising early election ruse to derail economic activity

Prime Minister Robert Abela hints at dilemma over snap election but said November husting would not have been in national interest

Prime Minister Robert Abela on One Radio (Photo: PL)
Prime Minister Robert Abela on One Radio (Photo: PL)

Prime Minister Robert Abela has accused the PN of devising a ruse for an early election in a bid at creating uncertainty and derail the economy during its recovery after COVID.

After long weeks of election talk for the end of this year, Abela officially ruled out a 2021 election on Monday.

Abela did hint at a dilemma over whether to call the election for this year  but never confirmed whether this was on the table. “I always spoke of the national interest. When it came to taking a decision, it was clear to me that the government should implement the budget. […] We are also giving an opportunity to everyone to enjoy the Christmas period and the business to turn  profit.”

In an interview on One Radio on Saturday morning, Abela spoke of the worrying rise in fuel and energy prices, considering that the world is still recovering from the pandemic. “During the pandemic, we decided to not raise the energy prices and now we have amongst the lowest prices in Europe. The burden should fall on the government’s shoulder and not on the citizen,” Abela said.

He said he was satisfied that the European Council had accepted more than once that the government intervenes in order to keep the energy prices down. “Whenever the bills were shifted onto the people, the economy suffered due to the lack of confidence and absence of a feel-good factor.”

Abela spoke of the rising COVID-19 cases around the world an appealed for everyone to, “take the vaccine as the vaccine is the solution […] The risks involved with not taking the vaccine are evident elsewhere, with great impact on the healthcare service and the quality of life.”

He spoke also of decarbonisation and climate change, saying that there “was no vaccine for climate change”, and that during the COP26 Climate Change Conference, Malta will send a message that it is ready to contribute. He said transport is an area where emissions could be drastically reduced, and said that the €12,000 electric vehicle grant, is an incentive that will help electrify the nation’s car fleet.

Abela said Malta should utilise more renewable energy, especially solar power as a clean source that guarantees price stability. “Climate change is a challenge but we could transform it into an opportunity.”