‘One minute for each year that I served’ – bruised Arrigo on his exit speech

“I was given five minutes – one minute per year as I served as viċi-kap. A befitting prize” 

Former PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo
Former PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo

The Nationalist Party’s former deputy leader Robert Arrigo has kept up his show of umbrage since passing on the baton to successor Alex Perici Calascione.

Elected in 2017 with the advent of ousted leader Adrian Delia, hotelier Arrigo complained to the PN’s councillors on Saturday of having suffered the brunt of the past leadership’s unpopularity, despite his contribution to the party’s disastrous finances.

“I was given five minutes – one minute per year as I served as viċi-kap. A befitting prize,” Arrigo sardonically commented on Facebook on his address to councillors last Saturday, where he was audibly emotional as he recalled his mistreatment at the hands of colleagues.

Shaken by his recent health problems, Arrigo listed a series of occasions in which he said he had been barred from attending election rallies.

[WATCH] Robert Arrigo’s parting shot: ‘The aim to oust has now turned to destruction of the party’

On Facebook, he posted the video of his address, again referring to two incidents in which PN activists refused to allow him inside – one in Zabbar, the other in his hometown Sliema, which he once served as mayor.

Arrigo also said that he had been responsible to take down the PN’s losses at its media arm Medialink down from €1.5 million to €500,000; and that he was personally held liable for a €206,000 payment to the VAT department after the party stopped paying its VAT contributions in 2021.

“I had to do everything – deputy leader, treasurer, Medialink chairman. I accepeted, always – so long as it was without payment. The money had to stay with the party...

“I’m not alone here. There are genuine people – but they’re the oldtimers. Politics of exclusion for fear of losing the high chair [sic] never pays! More is yet to come...”

On Saturday, Arrigo told councillors that he was leaving his post “deeply hurt” by the party, which he said had treated him as a simple fundraiser.

“I was hurt - yes – a lot. I was hurt as I was not aware of why I was sidelined,” Arrigo said.

He said a certain Mario Degiorgio had restricted him from going up to the first floor of Zabbar’s PN club during a 2022 electoral rally, and in Sliema, his hometown, Emvin Bartolo told him he was not allowed on the stage.

“These things should never happen. Never again. We can’t accept those things if we want to bring the party back on its feet […] Don’t blame the people that went on Facebook to say similar things. They are right.”

“We will not succeed if we don’t accept that we have made mistakes,” Arrigo then said, turning to Alex Perici Calascione. “Some things have taken a turn for the worst. We need to see to it and fix things - do it as fast as you can Alex,” Arrigo said.