[WATCH] I might consult with Muscat, but decisions will be my own - Robert Abela

Robert Abela insists that, if elected leader, he would listen to everyone’s views, including Joseph Muscat’s, but that, in the end, he would take decisions himself

Robert Abela has said that, were he to be elected leader of the Labour Party and subsequently take over as Prime Minister, he would listen to everyone’s views, including Joseph Muscat’s, but that, in the end, any decision taken would be his own.

The PL leadership contender, who was fielding questions from journalists following a press conference in Hamrun this afternoon, insisted that he was ready to take all decisions himself, even if they were difficult.

“The fact that I consult with Muscat doesn’t mean I won’t take the decision myself. I will take the decisions myself - I’m known to take decisions, even if they are difficult. I will consult with and hear everyone - but in the end I will take the decision myself,” he emphasised, “However I believe I should listen to everyone.”

Caruana Galizia’s murder should never have happened

Asked whether he would be prepared to apologise to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family and the Maltese people for the situation the country was in, Abela stopped short on saying he’d issue an apology to the family, but said that he had “deplored the journalist’s assassination [from the start]”, and that what had happened was “unacceptable in our society.”

“[The assassination] is something which personally pains me a lot. So I understand her family’s position,” he said, “I’ve always expressed by political opinion on the case, and sometimes I didn’t agree with the position assumed by the Caruana Galizia family, because I still believe that despite what happened, there shouldn’t have been an attack on our country. But I understand their position, because their mother and wife was murdered.”

Any whistleblower status for Efimova has to follow procedure

Touching on comments he made yesterday, Abela said he had been misquoted regarding his stance on a possible whistleblower status for former Pilatus Bank Maria Efimova. He reiterated that there was a procedure to follow for someone to be given whistleblower status, and that the Prime Minister had no role in this and could not intrudce.

Abela was also questioned regarding whether he would terminate all government relationships with Nexia BT, the firm which opened secret Panama accounts for former minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri.

He said that he “didn’t know exactly the situation regarding contracts”, but that any decisions would depend on the outcome of ongoing investigations.

“Investigations should be allowed to run their course and the institutions should be allowed to do their work. According to the outcomes, ill take decisions. I will not be uncomfortable taking decisions about anyone, be who it may - I won’t pay any regard to who it is.”

“One has to see what work they [Nexia BT] have with the government - everything has to be transparent and accountable. And if it results that there were shortcomings, then everyone has to pay the price for their actions.”