Prime Minister Robert Abela on Sunday ruled out going for a general election before Labour’s 2017 electoral manifesto has been fully implemented.
Speaking during a political activity in Mellieha, Abela said work on implementing the manifesto was ongoing.
Last June, Minister Carmelo Abela said 76 per cent of the party’s 2017 manifesto was on course to being implemented.
Speculation about the possibility of an early election has continued to grow, particularly as Malta is expected to begin the road to recovery this year from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abela said the government had been transparent and factual about its handling of the crisis, that had hit not just people’s health, but the economy and society as a whole.
He said some people had lost their jobs and seen a drop in their income.
The government had introduced multiple financial packages to mitigate the effect of the pandemic, he said.
“When you are in a crisis like no other, the chances to lose control are high. This did not happen. Businesses have kept on employing people and investing”, he said.
He also pointed to strong property sales continuing throughout the pandemic.
On the education system, Abela reiterated his belief that schools should reopen, just like they did last September.
He said the decision to reopen schools last September had been taken as the country could not afford to have an entire generation of children losing out on their education, a loss which could never be recovered.
Abela said he was saddened by the last-minute strike called by teachers last week.
The Prime Minister said educators had made many sacrifices during these difficult times.
He said the departure point was that children should not be stopped from attending classes, learning and being with their friends.
“We could not place more burdens on parents, particularly those who work”, Abela said.
Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci was in agreement with the decision to reopen schools after the holidays, he said.
He slammed those whom he said had a desire for Malta not to return to normality.
Abela had set May as the target for this return to normality.
He acknowledged on Sunday the recovery would take time as it was not a simple case of clicking one’s fingers to return to normality.
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