Grech accuses Labour Party of betraying the people in fraudulent hospitals deal

Bernard Grech lays responsibility for annulled hospitals deal at Abela’s feet: ‘In a normal country there would be immediate resignations’

Nationalist leader Bernard Grech
Nationalist leader Bernard Grech

Bernard Grech has accused the Labour government of “betraying” the people by colluding with investors to defraud the country through the Steward hospitals deal.

The Nationalist Party leader laid the responsibility squarely at the feet of Prime Minister Robert Abela as he reacted to the Appeals Court decision that confirmed the cancellation of the hospitals deal.

Grech said on Monday Robert Abela’s administration was an “accomplice to fraud” because it continued to pay Steward Healthcare millions despite the company having admitted the deal was fraudulent.

“Someone, somewhere should shoulder political responsibility. This government hurt the people from beginning to end with this fraudulent deal and it now has to shoulder responsibility for its actions,” Grech said.

Asked to clarify what he meant, Grech said in a normal country people would have resigned immediately.

The Opposition leader said the government now has the duty to go to court to recoup the €400 million paid to Vitals and Steward Healthcare.

Grech was addressing a press conference at PN HQ flanked by Adrian Delia and Stephen Spiteri and with most PN MPs sitting behind him. He was reacting to the Appeals Court judgment on Monday that confirmed a court decision earlier this year that annulled the Steward hospitals deal.

Grech singled out Adrian Delia for praise, having been the one to open the court case to have the three hospitals granted in the concession returned back to the public.

Quoting from the Appeals Court judgment, Grech said the Chief Justice left no doubt that there was “collusion” in this deal and government and its entities were clearly involved in this.

Grech said the PN will seek an urgent parliamentary debate this evening on the court decision and urged people to attend a national protest in Valletta on Sunday.

“It’s not enough to be angry. Come and join us to demand government shoulder responsibility and recoup the €400 million paid to Steward,” Grech said, adding the PN is standing up for the people and the country in the face of government’s betrayal.