Malta’s COVID-19 situation is out of control because Prime Minister Robert Abela failed to take timely decisions, PN leader Bernard Grech has said, adding he believes Superintendent Charmaine Gauci is not being allowed to take decisions.
Speaking on the Nationalist Party's media on Sunday, Grech said Malta has growing number of new COVID-19 cases because Abela continues to sweep problems under the carpet.
“People are questioning how Abela is saying everything is under control. Had our prime minister been more responsible, our tourism industry would not have been in the dire situation it is in.
“We are now on the red zones of a number of countries and we are in this situation because of the prime minister’s mistakes. We need to safeguard jobs and people’s livelihood, yes, but you do this by taking decisions on time and not by only thinking of votes, as Abela does,” Grech said.
Although the responsibility for the country’s wellbeing falls squarely on the prime minister’s shoulders, Grech went on to question whether Gauci is being allowed to take decisions.
He said he believed she wants to introduce stricter measures and take harsher decisions but she is not being allowed to do so “by Abela and his team”. The opposition leader did not elaborate further on this.
Grech also urged the authorities to not waste anymore time and address the problem now. He said a lot of time has already been wasted in recent weeks.
Giving an example, the PN leader said: “Rapid testing has been around for months and yet we’re getting it on October 28. Had we used this at the airport, we would have had a different scenario.”
On school closures, Grech said he agreed with MUT’s position in summer, that the government should have had time to plan well ahead of the reopening. He said he did not believe schools should close now but the authorities should make sure there are measures and protocols in place in case there big clusters of cases that will impact several families at the same time.
Migration and foreign workers
Asked for his views on migration, Grech said Malta’s biggest migration issue right now is the number of unemployed foreign workers who were “brought over” by the government to speed up the economy’s growth.
“We brought over some 80,000 people because we were told we need them. The economy did grow, but the speed at which it grew was too quick and so now we are burdened with thousands of foreign workers who do not even have a job.”
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