[WATCH] Grech to supporters: ‘be hopeful, courageous and proud’ ahead of general election

Bernard Grech says PN is ready to bring about the change the country 'deserves' • Opposition leader eulogises former Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami 

Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: PN)
Opposition leader Bernard Grech (Photo: PN)

Opposition leader Bernard Grech told supporters to be “hopeful, courageous and proud” of the party ahead of the next general election.

“We will be resilient and we will not shy away from challenges. Be hopeful, courageous and proud of this party. Let’s all work for the much needed change the country deserves,” Grech said.

Grech was addressing a political event in PN stronghold Sliema. Talk of a possible election announcement kept the party in limbo, as it had to react in real time to the PM’s discourse.

Moments before the meeting, Robert Abela announced he would be getting in a head-to-head battle with PN leader Bernard Grech, by contesting the fifth district in the general election.

“We will work for a better future for you and for your children. You give me and the rest of the formidable PN team, the strength to serve this country,” Grech said.

He said he met Eddie Fenech Adami on Sunday morning, ahead of the former PM's birthday on Monday. The crowd erupted in “Eddie, Eddie” chants.

“The PN will never be ashamed of its former leaders […] Eddie brought about the much needed change for the country at the time. He did not do so alone, but he did so together with his formidable team,” Grech said. "Fenech Adami was not afraid and believed that good will always triumph”.

“This party was always the party of work, justice and liberty,” referring yet to another slogan of the Fenech Adami era. “The PN will always remain on the good side of history.”

He said that similar to when the Mintoff era had been brought to an end by Fenech Adami, the PN would be eroding the current PL era.

“You as well have to do your part. I can’t bring about change on my own. You entrusted me to lead this party and transform it into an alternative government,” Grech said.

He also spoke about the rising cost-of-living and took a dig at the PM and the €17,000 a month contract his firm had with the Planning Authority, thanking journalists for their investigative work and for exposing Abela’s contract.

Grech said a “panicked” PM resorted to the distribution of vouchers, already been announced in the November budget.

“People know that you are only interested in serving your friends and those around you. They know you are not there to serve the people,” Grech told Abela.

“The truth comes out thanks to the journalists and those that know the truth. The truth is the nightmare of theirs. The truth was exposed by Daphne Caruana Galizia. That’s why they tried to silence her and then killed her,” Grech said.

He also touched upon the constitutional case the PN filed against the Public Broadcasting Services, claiming bias in the reporting.  Grech said that in government, the PN would work every day to ensure the national station was serving the people. “The truth belongs to everyone. Everyone has a right to know all the truth before voting in. You have the right to listen to all parties alike before deciding on your vote.”

With regards to the pandemic, Grech said the government is not able to protect the most vulnerable and the elderly, even if they took the vaccine and the booster.

“The PN can be the party of all. I don’t want us to win the election at all costs, but I want us to serve people. I want all to have peace of mind,” concluded Grech.

PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said the tenth district, of which Sliema forms part of, is a “pillar” of the PN and home to many great people. “Of course, the PN has a chance to win the election,” Buttigieg said in reference to the surveys published on Sunday. The MaltaToday survey published on Sunday put the PN at a 36,000-vote deficit to the PL, a 10,000-vote gap decrease over the previous month.

She appealed for “hope” and “caution”, asking everyone to convince at least one voter to vote for the PN.

General Secretary Michael Piccinino said the PN is ready for the general election, and to govern. He appealed for all those present to be generous with the party and “be the change”.