'People are starting to see the incompetence with their own eyes': PN

High food costs, construction and infrastructure troubles, and inflation were all issues addressed during the PN's General Council

PN Leader Bernard Grech. File Photo: James Bianchi
PN Leader Bernard Grech. File Photo: James Bianchi

The public is paying for the "incompetencies" of the government as the construction sector continues to take lives, the PN's General Council President said on Sunday.

“People are starting to see the incompetence with their own eyes,” Mark Anthony Sammut said at the Nationalist Headquarters in Ħamrun at the party's General Council.

Sammut spoke ahead of Nationalist Leader Bernard Grech, who took to the stage with a round of applause and focused his speech on criticising the government’s lack of attention towards the country.

The government has failed the country, Grech said, recalling an instance where he met a parent who said they believed they had fallen into a “vicious circle”.

“One of the ways the government has majorly failed the population is in cost-of-living,” Grech said, claiming the government is boasting cheaper living while no one believes it.

“They don’t go buy. They don’t see the prices rising,” he said, noting several Unions and experts such as the General Workers Union and economics professor Lino Briguglio who have confirmed the high cost of living.

To help, the PN will be establishing a national fund to help essential industries combat the rising cost of living, Grech said.

The Nationalist Party will continue to push for an economic model that is not based on “cheap labour”, but is based on a vision of quality, Grech continued.

“This is the only way to get rid of cost-of-living pressures.”

Switching gear, Grech slammed the government for their promised efforts to help traffic issues.

“You tell me if the Labour government, after seven years, has helped the traffic or has given us more congestion,” he said.

Admitting that cars have become an essential part of life, Grech was critical of the government's lack of a holistic plan that can offer incentives for alternative modes of transport.

“From today onwards, I will be asking for more and more help because our country needs every person ready to better Malta’s quality of life,” Bernard Grech said.

While upcoming elections will not see a change in government nor leadership, local council and MEP elections are a chance to show the government the country’s will for change. The elections will take place on June 8.

‘People are starting to see the incompetence’

Before the speeches started, Mark Anthony Sammut opened the council with a minute of silence for all the workers who have lost their lives.

On Saturday, a 51-year-old Albanian man died after a ceiling collapsed inside a Sliema house. The man, a construction worker, was working on the house alongside another Albanian worker, 31.

The younger man managed to leave the building following the collapse and was treated for slight injuries at Mater Dei Hospital.

Following the incident, the BCA released a statement saying that there was no permit for the works. The OHSA confirmed that the paperwork required by law had not been submitted and so it had not been notified about the works.

“People are starting to see the incompetence with their own eyes,” Sammut said on Sunday, emphasising that it is the public paying for the government’s mistakes.

Following a recap of the PN’s previous Council, Sammut listed off some of the party’s achievements, such as unearthing the hospitals scandal and seeing PN propositions made into reality like free school transport for children.

The opportunity to start the flow of change is on our doorstep, Sammut explained, as the upcoming European Parliament elections will give the public a chance to use their most powerful political tool: their vote.

Following Sammut's introduction, several speakers took to the stage to address a variety of issues.

Why are people so hesitant to use the bus, educator Michelle Attard Tonna asked the crowd, also asking everyone who drove to the General Council to raise their hand. With a chuckle, the majority pointed to the sky while only several people raised their hand when asked if they walked or took the bus.

Economics professor Lino Briguglio addressed the rate of inflation, comparing high local supermarket prices to those of mainland Europe.

PN Secretary General Michael Piccinino touched on the party's media outlets, noting that NET television is currently the largest private station in the country despite global trends showing otherwise.

On Sunday, both the Labour and Nationalist parties held their General Councils.