Ann Fenech dissing EU premiers at Serkin sparks backlash

PN’s executive president takes umbrage at prime ministers’ pastizzi and milky tea treat at the legendary Crystal Palace in Rabat

PN executive committee president Ann Fenech
PN executive committee president Ann Fenech

Picture the scene: four prime ministers at Malta’s most famous pastizzerija, sipping on tea and coffee, and eating the country’s most favourite savoury snack, the pastizz (or Maltese cheesecake). 

It’s a ritual that everyone has experienced and one which brings back memories, from the greasy paper bag, the paper napkin, and of course, the bite into the warm and crunchy pastry of the trusted pastizz. Yet, for PN executive president Ann Fenech, the prime minister’s decision to take three other prime ministers for pastizzi was ill advised and the choice of venue – the legendary Crystal Palace – was “common and crude”.


However, what was perhaps more ill advised was Fenech’s unwise decision to start her day by launching a war against pastizzi and by taking umbrage at the prime minister’s pastizzi and tea treat, which treat was praised by none other than Antoine Borg, the Nationalist Rabat MP.

“Why our Prime Minister and his wife should take the Prime Ministers of Luxembourg, Slovenia and Belgium for tea in a glass and a pastizz on a paper napkin in a room with bathroom tiles is beyond me,” Fenech wrote on her Facebook.

“Clearly they don’t know any better and there is nobody in their employ and to advise them. It’s painful,” she said.

Cue the (painful) backlash.

“Thousands of Maltese eat from places like this every day out of choice, it is typically Maltese. Angela Merkel even scouted out and stopped at a not too dissimilar place in Gzira for a hobza biz-zejt. Precisely because she wanted something different from the normal. What's shocking is that a politician like you doesn't get it, considers the kind of place frequented by thousands 'common and crude' and what's more, wants to share both her ignorance and her snobbery,” one commenter said.


Following her post, commenters resorted to ridiculing Fenech using the hasthag #jesuispastizz, also inspiring memes to ‘save our pastizz’.

And then no sooner that she was on the receiving end of the backlash, Fenech went a step further, telling commenters that “when my father was Speaker of the house in 1967 and they would entertain the Admiral of the fleet, the very first members of the diplomatic corps, the Governor general and the entire lot at home in Qrendi, my mother never served Tazzez tat-Te u Pastizzi."

The post also proved perfect timing for Labour officials and Labour MPs who took Fenech and the Nationalist Party to task for their “negativity”. Moreover, other commenters said Fenech’s diatribe against the traditional pastizz was a sign of a deeper problem and exposed the party’s “elitist behaviour.”

“You seem to have no idea of the basic Maltese traditions. You live inside an ivory tower and look at us common people with disgust,” another commenter said.

Similarly, Daniel Micallef, the president of the Labour Party said Fenech’s outburst uncovers “how the elite at the helm of the PN look down on the absolute majority of the Maltese”.