The Cabinet reshuffle announced on Saturday evening is a shambles, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday, insisting the move confirmed Prime Minister Robert Abela's "incompetence". 

Addressing supporters at Nationalist Party headquarters, Grech said Abela himself confirmed that he is not up to the task when he reshuffled a cabinet he appointed only 10 months ago. 

"Today it is not us saying that he is incompetent but he is the one doing so," Grech said. 

Abela made a series of changes to his cabinet on Saturday, promoting some while changing the portfolios or demoting others. 

The PN leader criticised Abela for introducing a number of new ministries to make up the biggest-ever cabinet, saying millions of euro were being spent at a time when the country was dealing with "the biggest deficit". 

Pointing to the demotion to the backbench of former Parliamentary Secretary for the Elderly Silvio Parnis, Grech said the PN had been calling for his removal for months. The calls came as more residents in homes for the elderly contracted COVID-19, with the PN blaming the government's inaction. 

"Abela has finally acknowledged that Silvio Parnis has failed. We had been saying this for months. Prime Minister, now that you have admitted you have failed, you need to apologise," he said. 

On moving Owen Bonnici from the education ministry to a new ministry tasked with research, innovation and coordination of the post-COVID-19 strategy, Grech said the minister had failed twice - first with the justice portfolio and then the education one - so how can he think he won't fail a third time?

He went on to question why former Gozo minister Justyne Caruana, who resigned after it emerged her husband Silvio Valletta had travelled with Daphne Caruana Galizia murder accused Yorgen Fenech, was re-appointed minister. 

"So what was bad 10 months ago, no longer is?" Grech said. 

 

 

 

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