Robert Abela’s admission on Tuesday that Malta could face problems in sourcing gas and grain as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, just days after he said Malta would not be affected by the war, showed that this was a prime minister who ‘does not do his homework’  Bernard Grech said on Tuesday.

“Up to a few days ago, Robert Abela had said the war would not affect Malta, an insensitive declaration which showed a lack of appreciation of what was happening and its consequences. Now he is admitting problems in the provision of gas and grain. This is a person who does not do his homework and does not have solutions” he said.

Speaking at a party activity in Zebbuġ, Grech said the PN  had, through its representative written to the EU to act against countries which limited the supply of grain.

Should there be upward pressure on bread prices,  a PN government would also seek to introduce a temporary fixed bread price, he said.

And as the PN has been saying for quite some time, Malta needed to preserve and improve local food production, not least by helping farmers and fishermen.

This was a sector that the government had ignored, except for a small financial allocation when the election approached.

PN will retain hunting, revise penalties

On hunting, Grech said all pass times were important for the PN, including hunting and trapping. He wanted hunters to continue to enjoy their hobby. A referendum (on spring hunting) had been held, a decision was taken, and no one would be allowed to touch that decision, he said forcefully. To do so could mean that someone could also touch the referendum decision on EU membership.

A PN government would consider a revision of penalties for illegal hunting, he added. Breaking the law would not be allowed and EU law would be respected, but not everyone should be considered a criminal and the penalties process would be simplified.

Problems regarding the lawful possession of old stuffed birds would also be addressed.

His wish, Grech said, was that politicians would not continue to use hunters for their ends.    

At the beginning of his address, Grech said the government was getting into a habit of trumpeting solutions to problems it would have itself created.

An example was how it burdened NGOs with costs and then, after the PN said it would remove such excess costs, it was saying it would do likewise. This was government politics of convenience, he said. The PN had a vision for the future, and the government was showing it lacked one.  

But the biggest problem of government ministers was arrogance, most recently demonstrated by Julia Farrugia who attacked PN candidate Julie Zahra in a way which put down artists. Grech highlighted PN promises for those involved in culture as well as sports, including tax deductions.  

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