Bernard Grech says Abela is 'incompetent or lying' when claiming ignorance on Steward penalty clause

Opposition leader Bernard Grech says a Nationalist government would not pay a single euro to get out of the 'skewed' hospitals contract with Steward Healthcare

PN leader Bernard Grech
PN leader Bernard Grech

Nationalist leader Bernard Grech said he does not believe Prime Minister Robert Abela was unaware of the €100 million penalty clause in the hospitals agreement with Steward Healthcare.

In a side letter approved by former minister Konrad Mizzi in August 2019, government accepted to pay the penalty even if the hospitals contract was annulled by the courts. Abela told MaltaToday this week that he only got to know about the agreement after it was signed.

“I don’t believe that Robert Abela, who was a consultant to Joseph Muscat and a colleague of Konrad Mizzi, was not aware of this clause. Should we give him the benefit of the doubt, now he has known for too long that the contract is being breached. He’s either incompetent or else a liar,” Grech said in a phone interview on NET FM on Saturday.

He also promised that a Nationalist government will withdraw from the contract that is mired in corruption allegations without paying a single euro.

Grech congratulated MEP Roberta Metsola for clinching the EPP candidacy for the presidency of the European Parliament. He said the PN had a vision for Malta's EU membership and is once again on the forefront of Malta’ s achievements on an international level.

Grech called out the Prime Minister for saying that Metsola worked against the national interests and then refusing to condemn Joseph Muscat’s actions that lead to Malta’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force this year.

He made reference to the PN’s proposals for the public service and said the party wants to attract the best people to the public service.

Grech touched upon the Thursday's floods and called out Ian Borg for blaming it all on climate change. “Ian Borg is trying to take people for a ride. First, he chopped down trees and then won’t admit that planning was not carried out well. This is a great failure by Ian Borg.”

He also called on the government to help farmers rebuild their rubble walls, saying that schemes were promised and never delivered.

In reference to Black Friday week, Grech said that “whoever is doing well in business, will do better under a PN government”. He said that it’s not fair that Maltese companies have to pay much more for shipping costs.

Grech also said that Speaker Anglu Farrugia is betraying the oath of office he took, and said Malta will never recover its democratic deficit as long as he remains a servant of the Labour government.