[WATCH] Abela affirms ‘socialist commitment’ after Gżira mayor's resignation

Prime Minister Robert Abela reaffirms socialist principles following Gżira mayor's resignation, emphasising government's commitment to these ideals during Labour's conference

Robert Abela during Labour's general conference on Sunday
Robert Abela during Labour's general conference on Sunday

Prime Minister Robert Abela reaffirmed his commitment to socialist principles a few hours after the resignation of Gzira's Labour mayor, Conrad Borg Manche. 

Speaking during Labour's general conference on Sunday, he emphasised that the government's actions were driven by socialists’ ideals. 

This morning’s resignation of Manchè, who cited the party's alleged departure from socialism, was not directly addressed by Abela or previous speakers. However, the Prime Minister reiterated that Labour's socialist roots remained as robust as ever.

Speaking at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Abela outlined his vision for the next decade, addressing various concerns raised by the people, such as immigration, traffic, the promotion of high-quality tourism, and environmental issues.

One of the instances where Abela underscored the party's socialist values was when he discussed the government's plan to regulate temping agencies, which bring foreign workers to Malta. 

"People are not a business, we must have the people who are needed, where they are needed," Abela said.

He revealed that, in response to the concerns of the people, he had instructed relevant authorities to assess the situation regarding the pricing of imported medicines, with the intention of announcing a reduction in prices in the coming weeks.

Throughout his 45-minute speech, Abela also expressed pride in the party’s accomplishments of the past 10 years.

He listed a series of achievements, including increased pensions, a strengthened middle class, the provision of free childcare, a commitment to inclusivity, and a reduction in the number of people reliant on social benefits. 

He addressed the audience chanting his name, emphasising that Labour had inherited a nation in a state of stagnation and had transformed it into one that was rapidly advancing.

"We can move forward confidently, as our foundations remain solid," he said.

'People are not commodities'

Prime Minister Robert Abela also addressed the government’s work towards regulating companies that facilitate the employment of foreign workers, specifically temping agencies. 

"People should not be treated as commodities; we must ensure that individuals are employed where their skills are required," he said.

In the construction sector, he made it clear that there was no room for unprofessional practices. 

“Contractors would soon require licensing, and those failing to adhere to responsible standards would face government intervention,” he reminded.

Abela insisted also on the need for discipline on the roads, highlighting the government's “bold decisions” to regulate vehicles with 'Y' plates and its commitment to continue this process.

Abela dodges benefit fraud and driving test fraud in his speech

Regarding recent controversies, Abela did not directly address benefit fraud and driving test scandals. However, he asserted that the party grew stronger and more united when faced with adversity and attacks.

Party President Ramona Attard and MP Glenn Bedingfield encouraged supporters not to be disheartened by what they referred to as "media attacks," reinforcing the importance of resilience in the face of criticism.

The Prime Minister underscored the significance of the upcoming local and European Parliament elections in June, describing them as pivotal. 

He committed to daily efforts to gain the trust of the people, emphasising unity as essential.