Abela on holiday in Greece and Sicily... but 'in command' from afar

Prime Minister on vacation with his family, but no announcement is made on the appointment of an acting PM

Robert Abela is on vacation with his family but despite being away from the island he has not relinquished his duties, MaltaToday has been told.

The Prime Minister has been absent from the public sphere over the past few weeks but no notice was published in the Government Gazette announcing the appointment of an acting prime minister as is normal when the prime minister is on holiday.

“The Prime Minister travelled on a private holiday to Greece and Sicily with his family in August,” a spokesperson for Abela said without specifying the period of the Prime Minister’s absence.

Asked why no notice was published in the Government Gazette, the spokesperson said “the Prime Minister never relinquished his duties”, implying that there was no need for an acting prime minister to be appointed.

Given that Abela has remained in charge despite being on vacation, MaltaToday asked whether the Prime Minister was holding regular online meetings with his ministers but received no reply.

This remote handling of government matters during the summer has been somewhat of an Abela trademark.

Abela was in the line of fire back in August 2020 when Malta experienced a week-long spike in COVID-19 cases at a time when the PM was holidaying in Ragusa, Sicily.

The Prime Minister eventually broke off his holiday to give an interview on ONE TV and meet the health authorities to draft new restrictions, before heading out to Sicily again. Abela had said at the time that he was teleworking from Sicily and keeping constant contact with the Cabinet.