Prime Minister Robert Abela on Sunday urged people to “dream big” saying the country’s successes should serve as an example to other countries. 

Addressing Labour Party supporters at an event in Floriana, Abela said he never wanted to take a negative approach when leading the country but a realistic one. 

“I have always been positive because I had facts in hand to back what I am saying. Last year, there were backhanded campaigns to paralyse our economy. 

“But we have always been there…the voice of hope. Yet we have always been realistic and I believe this is the politics that is distinguishing between the two parties,” Abela said. 

He reaffirmed his belief the country would be “closer to normality” come March.

Meanwhile, Abela went on to reveal his 91-year-old grandmother, who is at Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, has tested positive for COVID-19. He said she had "some respiratory issues" but did not give any further details on the state of her health. He however thanked Steward Healthcare, which run Karin Grech, for their excellent work. 

“I am dealing with these problems like everyone else,” he said.

He quickly moved on to reiterate Malta’s vaccination rates were the best in Europe.

People continue to obey the rules, he said, following the measures announced earlier in February, something that made him proud. 

On Air Malta, which is facing daily loses of €170,000 daily, Abela said there are problems which have existed for years though he was convinced these would be addressed. 

"Air Malta will continue to fly for years to come," he said. 

And on migration, Abela said the summer months are expected to be difficult and so the issue cannot be forgotten, even if it is not top of the country's agenda right now. 

He acknowledged localities like Marsa and Birżebbuġa cannot be burdened with the issue anymore. The country, he said, should be on the same page on such issues and both the government and opposition should agree the country cannot tackle this problem alone. 

"Migration is a difficult topic because it is something that involves tough decisions that you cannot afford to get wrong. This topic means many sleepless nights but it also distinguishes between leaders. 

"My position on this is clear: the interests of the Maltese and Gozitans come first," he said. 

Youth's appointment to Finance Malta baord

Defending a Labour Party councillor from St Paul's Bay, Carlos Zarb, who was appointed to the Finance Malta board last year, Abela said the involvement of young people in a public entity is crucial. 

The appointment made headlines after Nationalist MP David Thake said the Labour Party was showing that as far as it was concerned, the only suitable Maltese were those who waved the Labour Party flag.

The prime minister said the PN had failed to say that in recent days, a number of people with ties to that party were also appointed to public posts, including the chairman of the Public Contracts Review Board.

He also called on young Nationalist activists to join "Team Malta", saying he will defend these youths from attacks they might face because of their political views. 

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