[WATCH] Roberta Metsola insists she always puts Malta’s interests first

Xtra on TVM | Roberta Metsola dismisses what she describes as the Prime Minister’s divisive tactics in accusing PN MEPs of instigating the European Commission to start legal action against Malta over the sale of passports

PN MEP Roberta Metsola
PN MEP Roberta Metsola

Roberta Metsola insists she always puts Malta’s interests first in Europe, dismissing the Prime Minister’s criticism towards her as a divisive tactic.

The Nationalist MEP, who was recently elected First Vice President of the European Parliament, accused Robert Abela of sticking to the same song of his predecessor.

She was speaking on TVM’s Xtra on Thursday.

Abela recently failed to congratulate Metsola for her high-profile appointment, justifying his decision on the basis that the PN MEP worked to destroy the Maltese golden passport scheme.

“I would hope that Robert Abela does not adopt the same song and continuous attacks of his predecessor Joseph Muscat, because we have for years been under constant attack from every level of the Labour Party, the government and its ministers,” she said.

Metsola said citizenship should be valued and treasured, and not besmirched by being sold.

She accused Abela of “divisive tactics” when he claimed the PN MEPs were responsible for the legal action that the European Commission initiated against Malta. She said neither herself nor David Casa were at fault.

“These are divisive tactics that the Prime Minister is trying to play in an attempt to score political points, and I don’t think they’re working,” she said, pointing out that former Labour minister Helena Dalli, who forms part of the college of European Commissioners was also part of the group of people who decided that legal steps should be taken against Malta.

Metsola insisted that every time she stood up to speak or take a vote in the European Parliament, she always had Malta’s best interests at heart. 

“My thought process is that I am, first and foremost Maltese, and I need to see how that particular vote or law will impact the Maltese people,” she said.

Metsola added that very often, she would have already been working behind the scenes before the motion even came to a vote, to ensure that it would be amended in a way that would be beneficial for Malta while also making sense at a European level.

Asked by Balzan about her reaction to the rule of law reforms that government was undertaking, Metsola acknowledged that there were a number of solid improvements on paper, but insisted the issue now will be to ensure that they are enforced.

“We can have the best laws on paper, but now we need to ensure that we enforce them,” she said.