Opposition leader Bernard Grech has strongly criticised Robert Abela following his quasi-lockdown announcement this evening, warning the entire country has now lost trust in the Prime Minister.
“You reap what you sow,” Grech told a press conference this evening. “Robert Abela said the tsunami [of COVID-19 cases] will be turned into a stream, but instead the same tsunami has now swept him away. Sadly, we all got swept along with him.”
“He sowed the seeds of arrogance and hard-headedness, he was short-sighted, made irresponsible declarations, and took wrong decisions, and now the people of Malta are paying for this.”
“The Prime Minister brought about this crisis himself by not allowing the health authorities to deal with the pandemic by themselves, and he must be held responsible.”
“It’s clear that we’re witnessing a total collapse of intensive care. New wards are being opened and we’ll soon be full up. It’s complete chaos and management by crisis by a Prime Minister who collapsed under pressure and vanished in the hour of need.”
Asked what he would have done differently had he been Prime Minister, Grech said no other world leader “took people for a ride” the way Abela did.
“I didn’t see any other Prime Minister telling people that waves are in the sea, collapsing under pressure, insulting [the Opposition] in Parliament, and blaming the people for what was ultimately his and his political friends’ fault.”
“I wouldn’t have taken people for a ride and I’d have taken the necessary measures on time. I’d have learned from the experience of countries which had to go into a lockdown.”
“I wouldn’t have given people a false sense of guarantee that everything is under control when he knew, hand on heart, that he’s taking people for a ride. I wouldn’t have gambled with people’s lives and prioritised my interests over the public.”
Grech said Abela shouldn’t resign, arguing that “abdicating his responsibility” would be the easiest way out.
“He must face the music he creased, he must face up to the consequences of his decision, he must humbly recognise his mistakes and leave [the pandemic] in the hands of experts.”
“I, the Nationalist Party, and the people of Malta have lost what trust they had in the Prime Minister.”