[WATCH] Government's decisions are restoring stability - Robert Abela

Decisions taken in past week have started restoring stability, newly elected Prime Minister Robert Abela says, as he emphasises government will be putting its talk on good governance into practice

Prime Minister Robert Abela addressed a political event in Bormla on Sunday
Prime Minister Robert Abela addressed a political event in Bormla on Sunday

The decisions taken by the government in the past week have started restoring stability in Malta and have defined the administration as one which is disciplined and focused on where it wants to go, Robert Abela said.

In his first Sunday address since being sworn in as prime minister, Abela said the decisions he had made showed that the government would not just speak about the importance of good governance but would put its talk into practice.

Abela, who was speaking during a political activity in Bormla, made no reference to reports in the media today that former deputy police chief Silvio Valletta - the husband of Justyne Caruana, who was confirmed as Gozo Minister by the new prime minister - travelled to the UK in Sepember 2018 with Yorgen Fenech to watch a football match.

“This has been a week which filled me with enthusiasm. It was a hard week in which we worked a lot, but the results were good. I asked for a few weeks to bring back stability to the country. Today I won’t ask for more time to do this, but for less time,” Abela told party faithful.

“We will continue to bring back stability, which started being restored from the first decisions we made. We took hard decisions and had the courage to do so. If the decisions are needed, they will be taken. This will repay some of the trust given to us.”

Within a few hours of the new administration, “fresh air had returned,” he said.

“This is being felt not only by the people in the streets, but also by the social partners. They asked how in less than a week we managed to bring back a positive atmosphere in the country. The recipe for this was simple: we evaluated what the situation was […] and had a vision of the decisions which need to be taken from one week to the next. I believe next week we will build on last week and keep moving forward together.”

One of the major decisions he had made was the appointing of his ministers and parliamentary secretaries, Abela said, as he spoke of his regret that he couldn’t give everyone within his parliamentary group a Cabinet post.

“We couldn’t appoint every MP to Cabinet as this wouldn’t have been sustainable […] so decisions had to be taken,” he underscored, “But I intend to use the talents of all the parliamentary group. There is too much talent for one to not be wise enough to not utilise it.”

“I understand those who were not chosen might feel hurt - it’s normal - but I’m committed to moving forward and working for the party and the country. We can only do this through collective work.”

This week, Abela said, demonstrated that the government would not merely speak about good governance but also act on it.

One of the first moves in this regard was the formation of a Cabinet committee to bring forward proposal on strengthening good governance, he said. The Prime Minister also said that a discussion on the formation of a commission, which would monitor the behaviour of government MPs, was also on the table.

Government will not be dictated to

Abela said the government wanted to continue building on the good and amending the bad. 

Amongst other things, it would also be discussing the ways in which the new police commissioner could be appointed, he said. However, he highlighted that the government would not be dictated to.

"We do not allow anyone to dictate to us what we should do. We are the government and our job is to lead the country - and we will lead it. We are the government and we make the decisions, because they people trusted us to lead the country. And we will repay this trust through work and decisions."

Economic prosperity underpins everything

Abela emphasised that improving good governance and working on things such as social regeneration would only be possible if the country’s economy continues to be strengthened.

“Our ambition, at the end of the day, is a better quality of life for everyone. The people’s aspirations are to keep improving - and I want to ensure this aspiration is reached,” he said.

The government, Abela noted, wanted to be pro-market.

“This doesn’t mean we won’t keep pushing businesses forward. It means a holistic approach to the market - looking at the role of the consumer and of the business community. We will give the business community all opportunities and incentives to increase their profits. But we cannot forget the consumer.”

More involvement of women in politics

Abela remarked that when he was appointing his Cabinet he only had three women MPs whom he could choose. “I wished so much that there were more women taking part,” he said.

The government would work to put in place the proposed corrective mechanism for adequate gender representation in Parliament in said.

He added that the party should now cease the chance to return to its roots. “We will take care of these roots and of genuine people who worked in the party - the people who love it - this is the time to take care of them.”

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