The Covid-19 situation in Malta remains “stable and under control”, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday as he drew comparisons with the pandemic situation abroad.
Addressing a political activity at the Labour Party’s headquarters, Abela said that the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across Europe, noting that a lot of countries had gone into lockdowns and imposed austerity measures.
“These are the realities we need to appreciate; only when we appreciate these can be see how good things are here”, he said.
He said however that in Malta there had been no need for a lockdown, and no need for austerity measures – in fact, the government had embarked on two ambitious budgets in order to keep supporting families and businesses, and even paid out €11 million in cheques to address the injustices of past PN administrations this week.
“How could we dream in January or February that this would happen? A lot of countries went into a total lockdown, but we didn’t. We worked differently. As thousands across Europe lose their jobs, in October we registered the fifth month in a row where we lowered unemployment. This is our reality”, he said.
“I am convinced that when we compare, the judgement on our country will be favourable”, he added.
Abela said however that he is saddened by every single death that Malta has related to the pandemic. “Behind every death, there is a family – irrespective of their age, or their health conditions – that is a person who has lost their life”, he said.
The Prime Minister appealed for solidarity – for people to think of those who are vulnerable and make the sacrifices necessary to protect them.
“We did not need a lockdown, because we implemented clinical measures. The situation is stable and under control because of those measures. When the vaccine comes in December or January, we will have a head start. So, it is important not to affect that situation; everyone must cooperate and obey the rules that are there”, he said.
The Prime Minister did reserve a couple of swipes for the Nationalist Party, lamenting at how a small faction had once again taken the party over and over-ridden its weak leader to continue to push division over unity.
He also lamented at how the PN’s ethics commission had written a “eulogy” about Jason Azzopardi – whom he described as a hypocrite when considering how perfect he demands that others be – and only recommended a “slap on the wrist” over his hotel stay in Israel, paid for by businessman Ray Fenech.
Speaking about the reshuffle announced on Saturday night, Abela noted how the country now has the youngest, most female, and most Gozitan cabinet leading it.
Meanwhile in the same activity, Edward Scicluna – who will resign in the coming days to take up the post of governor of the Central Bank of Malta – made his final farewell speech, pledging to work together with all of the island’s MEPs to improve Malta’s reputation abroad rather than tarnish it.
He said that he could retire from politics with his mind at rest, and added that he has a “soft-spot” for his replacement, Clyde Caruana.