'I was elected party leader to do things differently and I will remain true to my word' - Robert Abela

The Prime Minister said that his party will not break its last election pledge to deliver change • Abela said that the NAO report on the hospitals' deal proves that his government is 'different'

Prime Minister Robert Abela on Sunday (Photo: PL)
Prime Minister Robert Abela on Sunday (Photo: PL)

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he will remain true to his word when he was elected party leader and do things differently.

During a Labour Party event in Marsaxlokk on Sunday morning, Abela said that if his government did not do things differently, it would be breaking the promise made to the nation prior to the 2022 election.

The Muscat legacy keeps haunting the Abela administration after investigations revealed that the former Labour Prime Minister was set to receive €540,000 for consultancies for a company linked to the hospitals deal.

Abela said that the third National Audit Office report on the hospitals deal, tabled in parliament on Monday, confirmed and proved that the Labour government was “working differently”.

The audit in the report found that former minister Konrad Mizzi had granted VGH authorisation to transfer the hospitals' concession to Steward Healthcare before seeking Cabinet’s endorsement.

The PM said that he always insisted that the hospitals' concession saga had to be analysed, before any decisions were taken.

“This week’s NAO proves this. We were consistent and firm with Steward Healthcare, and we constantly delivered a message that obligations had to be honoured,” Abela said.

He criticised the Opposition for “refusing to discuss” the report, saying that they don’t want a debate since “they know they lied when they said we did nothing about the hospitals deal.”

“Their political philosophy is that the only way they could regain the nation’s trust is by destroying all the work that we are doing to move the nation forward,” the PM said.

Abela said that the Maltese trusted the Labour Party again after it showed that it could deliver change.

He spoke of his government’s “achievements”, mentioning job creation, lower utility bills, and the tax rebate cheques.

The PM also said that 48,000 financially vulnerable families benefitted from the new cost-of-living mechanism.

Abela spoke about this week’s MED9 summit in Malta and said that the country will be a leader in Europe’s decarbonization, by pushing forward innovative and ambitious projects.

He congratulated his deputy and Health Minister Chris Fearne on his appointment as President of the World Health Organisation assembly.

“I am proud of Deputy Prime Minister Chris Feane’s achievement today [...] A very prestigious achievement for the nation and the party,” Abela said.