Fosos independence celebrations were unsustainable – Robert Arrigo

In the face of criticism, the Nationalist Party deputy leader insists celebrations at the Floriana Granaries contributed to losses in the past

PN has moved away from the Floriana Granaries to save on money, a move that Robert Arrigo has described as 'good housekeeping'
PN has moved away from the Floriana Granaries to save on money, a move that Robert Arrigo has described as 'good housekeeping'

Robert Arrigo has defended the Nationalist Party’s decision to move its traditional Independence Day celebrations away from the Granaries in the wake of scathing criticism.

The PN deputy leader for party affairs insisted the motivation for the decision was “good housekeeping”.

Earlier this month, the PN executive decided to shift the celebrations, traditionally held on the Floriana Granaries, to the party headquarters in Pieta.

Events will kick off with a gala dinner at Xara Lodge on 15 September, against a €40 donation.

Arrigo said all traditional activities, including the bands, the sports programme, and the music festival, will be held.

“The venue changed due to the heavy losses incurred on the Fosos over many years, and are, unsustainable, if good housekeeping still matters,” Arrigo said in a Facebook post on Friday.

He was reacting to an opinion piece published in Times of Malta on Friday morning, in which a PN supporter expressed regret at the decision to move away from the Granaries.

In his opinion piece, titled The Nationalist Party Is Now On Its Knees, Emanuel Galea wrote: “The party, it seems, is not structurally sound enough position to hold a mass meeting. This is the real issue, and it is a serious one.”

Galea doubted the party’s ability to rekindle the spirit to sustain the momentum to face another election.

In many ways, Galea’s comments represent the sentiment of many grass root activists who disagree with the party’s decision to ditch the Granaries that are symbolically intertwined with the PN’s achievements.

A decision in 2015 to hold the Independence Day celebrations in Valletta had not gone down too well and was reversed the year after.

But with the PN in a dire financial situation, the decision to opt for a scaled down event this year is a question of prudence for people like Arrigo.

“Easy to criticize, difficult to implement. We are not going overboard. We will continue diligently as is our norm,” Arrigo said.

More in National