Abela worried about power cuts but utters no word on shocking survey results

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the government was working on a compensation scheme for the loss of perishables and damages to electrical appliances due to this week's power cuts

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he is worried about this week's relentless power cuts but failed to address the Sunday surveys that show that trust in his party is on a downward trend, so much so that the Nationalist Party overtook it in the MaltaToday survey.

In a first since 2008, PN has a minor advantage over PL, following weeks of turmoil for the Abela administration. PL led by 16 points in February.

During an interview on One Radio Abela said that it was a challenging week for the country with regards to the electricity distribution.

“I am very sorry and worried about the situation […] The people are right – they invested into their home to live comfortably and as a government, we have to ensure that they can do so.”

Throughout a daunting heatwave this week, many families had to endure power cuts that lasted nights and days, all over Malta and Gozo. Abela said that the events of the past week raised questions on the electrical distribution system.

He said that in the past Malta was in a sorry state, with power stations tripping and boilers exploding. He said that the Labour government addressed the issues related to the generation of electricity and that even though there was a record demand for power, the country was well served through the power station, the interconnector, and renewable energy.

The PM said that the distribution had to be addressed now, with more substations, cabling, and investment in renewables.

“The atmospheric temperature was the main contributor to the faults in the system. The heating of the tarmac, underneath which you have the power cables – which also generate heat from the electrical currents, lead to this situation,” Abela said.

Abela said that the government and Enemalta were working on a compensation system for the loss of perishables and faults suffered by electrical appliances.

He emphasized that more can be done to strengthen the system, as similar heatwaves would be repeated due to the climate emergency.

“We have had warning that temperatures would rise. The world is producing too much greenhouse gases and experts say that if this is not addressed globally, the situation will be repeating itself.”

He said that on a national level, investment in electric cars, the shore-to-ship project, and renewable energy projects were vital.

Abela said that the government and Enemalta were working on a compensation system for the loss of perishables and faults suffered by electrical appliances.

He said that the government was working on the amendment of 39 laws so that it could eventually issue public calls to the private sector for investment into offshore renewable energy generation.

Abela said that it was time for a shift in the economic vision to a one that required less human resources and more skills.

“We need to invest in sectors that require more specialized skills and less human resources. The economic activity should be greener and should create less pressure on the country,” the PM said.

Jean Paul Sofia Inquiries

Abela stuck to his guns about the saga involving the inquiries into Jean Paul Sofia’s death, emphasising that the magisterial inquiry was the one that could guarantee the safeguarding of evidence and justice.

He said that the main role of the magisterial inquiry is to preserve evidence and identify responsibility in the incident. Abela added that the second function is to identify shortcomings.

He argued that the public inquiry would then scrutinize those areas that the magisterial inquiry does not explore and insisted that the inquiries should not derail each other.

Abela did however admit that his government could not have been sensitive on the issue. “We could have been more emotive and sensitive. I always believed in leaving the courts to do their job in serenity without excessive political debates.”

The Prime Minister said that his government is determined to overhaul the standards in the construction industry and deliver unprecedented reforms.

“It is absurd that you need a licence to drive a motorcycle, and rightfully so, but then you don’t need one to build property. No wonder we have had 120 fatalities in the industry,” Abela argued.

“Every person in this country should have the peace of mind that any construction work would be respectful to them […] We should not take any further risks with people’s lives.”

On Tuesday, regulations providing for the licensing of building contractors came into force, ensuring for the first time that all operations in the construction industry are regulated.

The Malta Developers Association, however, expressed strong dissatisfaction with the new law, labelling it "weak and ineffective".

“How could this country tolerate such a risky activity without licencing? Those that are not qualified and serious should work in another sector,” Abela said.


The Prime Minister spoke about new economic priorities and said that the road projects were a first step that should be followed with the strengthening of the alternative transport systems.

He said that the country will be undertaking a holistic approach, that started with free public transport and continues with a more efficient system.

Abela said that a discussion on the use of heavy vehicles during peak hours, and the responsibility and discipline on the roads had started.

He said that the recent increase in penalty points and fines for traffic contraventions that came into effect last May was essential.