PN leader Bernard Grech sounded incredulous on Sunday after the prime minister said there was not a single episode of bad governance during his tenure.

"If he doesn't realise how untrue that is, he's completely out of touch with reality, and if he does realise, then he's trying to fool us," Grech said during an interview on the party's media on Sunday morning.

"This is a fake prime minister, a fake government."

Grech was reacting to an interview that Robert Abela gave on Labour's media on Saturday evening, marking two years since his appointment.

In the interview, Abela insisted that during his tenure there was not one episode of bad governance.

"I can say this for sure, and this may be without precedent, that during the past two years we have not had one single episode of bad governance," he said.

Grech said the prime minister was trying to insult the people's intelligence, more so as there were at least 12 current or former ministers who were  embroiled in some scandal including  Justyne Caruana, Edward Zammit Lewis, Carmelo Abela, and now even Chris Fearne.

"People are noticing what the prime minister is doing and they are growing angrier. And they are sending him a message in today's survey," Grech said.

The latest Maltatoday survey published on Sunday saw Abela's trust rating drop by four points. However, it also found that Grech did not gain any of that trust,  his rating actually dropped by 0.5% from its last survey. 

In his remarks Grech stressed that the PN is strongly favour of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, but he insisted that the new regulations that kick off on Monday, requiring production of a vaccine certificate for entry to most venues, strip people of their basic freedoms.

"I am for the vaccine, so much so that I took the three doses. Do I sometimes have doubts? Of course I do,  But I believe it's the best solution we have to fight the pandemic," he said.

"But still, I cannot trample on the rights of people who choose not to take the vaccine or have valid reasons not to. The government is simply out of touch with people's feelings. It has almost become like an inquisition on people's rights."

Grech also criticised Abela for continually moving the goalposts on the wage supplement scheme. He said a few days ago Abela said the government would extend the scheme till the end of January but yesterday said it will be extended till the end of next month. The PN had urged the government to extend the scheme till the end of March.

The Opposition leader weighed in on the Air Malta controversy, saying that despite many difficulties in the past, a PN government had a plan to save the airline, but Labour was now giving up.

"Government ministers have been lying to us about Air Malta's financial situation and the finance minister is now telling us the airline is like a fireplace because it just burns money. This is how they look at such an important institution," Grech said.

"I promise that a PN government willcome up with a better plan. I just hope there will still be an Air Malta to save by the time we're in government."

Grech also said the PN's proposed bills on better governance had been received 'incredibly well' by everyone except the Prime Minister, who slammed the exercise as an 'election gimmick'.

Grech also insisted that the authorities explain how, last week the State struck a controversial plea bargain with Darren Debono, who was one of the accused in the 2010 HSBC heist case. He expressed support for police officers who felt betrayed after dropping charges of attempted murder after Debono had allegedly fired at the police during the failed heist.


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