Millions have been allocated to keep flour prices stable, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Sunday.

Addressing Labour’s traditional May Day rally outside Castille, Abela said this direct assistance had been greenlit by cabinet this week.

He said the assistance, running into millions, will be offered to food importers on condition that they do not raise prices.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put massive pressure on wheat prices, as both countries are major producers and exporters of grain.

The prime minister said the government’s decision to keep energy prices stable was saving people millions of euros.

He vowed the government will continue to do everything possible to protect the country from the price rises hitting mainland Europe.

Abela said that while Malta too had seen a hike in prices, inflation rates on the island were half what they were in Europe.

Though prices had increased, inflation was nowhere near the record levels experienced in 2008 under a Nationalist government, the Prime Minister said.

This, he said, was a testament to Labour’s efforts to protect workers by putting them at the centre of its policies.

Abela warned that without a thriving economy, the government would not be able to implement the 1,000 promises found in Labour’s election manifesto.

The prime minister said the challenges being faced by global events made unity all the more important.

“It is important to stay united, both as a party and as a country. The greater the challenges, the greater the need for unity.”

Turning to the tens of thousands who shunned both major parties in the March election, Abela said the government’s door will always be open to those who want to contribute.

Abela said he also respected the choice of those who voted for the PN.

He said people who felt they had been let down by the PN, even after the election, should not let this disappointment stop them from contributing to the country.

Abela said spring would bring about a new beginning for Malta, particularly with the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions being lifted.

He said Malta looks forward to once again welcome tourists in their hundreds of thousands.

Abela vowed his government would continue to offer people the right conditions in which to thrive and said that thanks to the government’s efforts to create tens of thousands of jobs since 2013, having a job was no longer a privilege, but a right.

“Those who in the past found closed doors now have the chance to improve their quality of life,” Abela said.

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