With a few days to go before the PN leadership election, a pretty strange comment has come back to haunt Bernard Grech.
On ONE TV’s Pjazza tonight, Karl Stagno Navarra dug up a remark Grech passed during a NET TV debate last December in the wake of the publication of the Egrant inquiry.
Offiza kbira lejn kull Malti u Ghawdxi
Posted by Karl Stagno Navarra on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
“I want Malta to become a normal country and I want us to regain the honour of calling ourselves Maltese and to stop being afraid of telling people where we’re from when we’re overseas,” he said.
“In all honesty, I’ve gone abroad and told people I’m from Greece because my surname is Grech which makes it easily believable.”
“I’m not joking, I really do that because I’m ashamed to tell them I’m Maltese because I’m afraid of what they’ll tell me. I can’t defend the Prime Minister, his clique and all this dirt.”
After airing this clip, Stagno Navarra pulled his Maltese passport out of his shirt pocket and flashed it to the camera.
“Look at this passport. I’m proud to form part of this beautiful country when others would rather be Greek,” he said, before taking a dig at Greece for requiring EU bailouts in the past and for the extent of tax evasion in the country.
Parliamentary secretary Alex Muscat expressed shock at Grech’s comment, questioning how a Prime Minister in waiting could be ashamed of his nationality.
“I used to travel before 2013 but I was never ashamed to be Maltese,” he said. “I’d talk about things I disagreed with but I’d defend my country because I’m proud to be Maltese irrespective of which party is in government.”
“This is an elitist style of politics, which is why I said [Grech] has been chosen by that famous clique which took control over the PN for years.”
Hundreds of people criticised Grech on social media, including Bormla mayor Alison Zerafa Civelli, who said she though she was dreaming when she heard his comments.
Jiena waħda li vera nħobb insiefer ukoll Bernard.Imma għalkemm għandna l-istess kunjom Grech, ma ngħidx li jien Griega bħalek, imma b’wiċċi minn quddiem ngħid li jien Maltija. Jien dejjem f’kull ċirkustanza u f’kull ħin nemmen li Malta u l-Maltin għandhom jiġu l-ewwel u qabel kollox ????????Maltija għaliex jien kburija bil-kisbiet ta’ pajjiżi mill-Indipendenza sal-Helsien u Malta Repubblika. Maltija għaliex għandi karnaġġon li jirrifletti x-xemx tiddi ta’ pajjiżi. Maltija għaliex poplu b’qalb kbira.Mhux ċajta, imma jien vera kburija li jien Maltija.#vivamalta #grechmaltija
Posted by Martina Grech – Kunsilliera f’Ħal Qormi on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
“Although we have the same surname, I never say I’m from Greece during my travels but I proudly tell people I’m from Malta,” young PL Qormi councillor Martina Grech said.
“In every moment and in every circumstance, I believe that Malta and the Maltese should come first and foremost.”
Grech will face PN leader Adrian Delia in an election among the party’s paid-up members on 3rd October, but almost half the party’s eligible voters have already had their say in a series of early voting.