Alex Perici Calascione elusive on PN target for European election

In an interview with Illum, PN deputy leader Alex Perici Calascione is noncommittal on what would constitute a satisfactory result for the party in the 2024 European election

PN Deputy Leader Alex Perici Calascione
PN Deputy Leader Alex Perici Calascione

Winning three seats in the 2024 European Parliament election is a target Bernard Grech set himself but his deputy remains noncommittal on what would constitute success.

Interviewed by sister newspaper Illum, Alex Perici Calascione repeatedly skirted the question when asked what measure of success the Nationalist Party will adopt for the EP election.

“We have to do our utmost and work to achieve the best possible result,” he said, refusing to elaborate.

“We have more than a year to go and to achieve the best possible result we have to put in all the ingredients and the most important ingredient is having a valid candidature. This is the immediate work we have,” Perici Calascione said, adding that apart from the European election, voters will also be asked to elect their local councils.

When it was pointed out that Roberta Metsola, who currently occupies the high profile role of president of the European Parliament, may attract a strong personal vote that will not necessarily translate into people wanting the PN to be in government eventually, Perici Calascione insisted Metsola was part of the PN.

“Roberta Metsola has made a name for herself and for the PN because she is part of it. Just as we mention the things that are not going well, we have to also mention the good things. I am proud with all EP representatives the PN has had,” he insisted.

Perici Calascione was elected deputy leader at the start of summer in a one-horse race.

Asked about ‘brand PN’, which Bernard Grech had suggested should change, Perici Calascione said “it is work in progress”.

He did not elaborate but said his advice was that if someone was going to be entrusted with rebranding the PN, they had to be given a free reign.

Village clubs up for rent or sale

Perici Calascione said negotiations over the commercialisation of some of the PN’s village clubs were underway, indicating that the party could be moving towards regional set ups.

He said the PN had the advantage that it fully owned its clubs and some were in central locations.

“Some sectional committees were themselves bringing forward people who are ready to rent or buy certain clubs, even because the committees did not have the financial means to carry out necessary works on the buildings,” he said.

“You have to evaluate everything, keep the political context in mind but where certain decisions need to be taken, these have to be taken,” he said.

The sale of PN clubs was one of the issues raised by Bernard Grech following the last general election as he laid bare the party’s dire financial situation.