Coronavirus pandemic remains under control, Abela says

Robert-Abela-bla-maskra

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The coronavirus pandemic has been kept under control, Prime Minister and Partit Laburista leader Robert Abela said on Sunday while being interviewed on the party’s media.

Abela maintained that the government led by him has shown it is capable of leading in a time of crisis without resorting to austerity measures.

Malta has registered 7,039 coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic with 1,965 active according to the information published on Saturday by the health authorities.

The pandemic has not only wreaked havoc in the public health system but has also had an impact on the economy.

Abela mentioned a number of initiatives taken by the government to safeguard jobs during these unprecedented times such as the introduction of the wage supplement aimed at retaining jobs and the government vouchers to encourage public spending.

The Labour leader said that according to the forecast issued by the European Commission Malta’s economy is set to grow with 6.2%. The projections are based on data supplied by the government.

Abela maintained that the government not only wants to deliver on 6.2% growth but aims at surpassing it.

The situation in Malta was compared to Italy and Greece among other European countries. Abela noted that unlike the trend in the Eurozone, Malta managed to keep its unemployment rate low.

Malta remains full up’

Speaking about migration, Abela maintained that the country remains full up and cannot take in any more people seeking asylum. He said that over the past days the authorities were working hard to ensure that there were no migrant landings.

Asked about a constitutional case filed by asylum seekers who were pushed back to Libya and the relatives of two individuals who lost their lives, and which was wrongly attributed as a case filed by Repubblika, Abela said that the anti-corruption group was obstructing the government’s work.

He accused Opposition leader of being a part of Repubblika, noting that now the officials will have to appear before the court in these proceedings. “Instead of focusing on our work, we will have to appear in court,” he maintained, adding that it was “unacceptable” to obstruct the government’s work in the migration field.

Earlier this week fifty asylum seekers filed constitutional proceedings against the Maltese authorities, calling for an effective remedy for the alleged breach of rights they suffered in a pushback to Libya last April. While the legal costs are being funded by Repubblika, the case was not instituted by the NGO.

Partit Nazzjonalista reacts

The Opposition reacted to Abela’s interview in a statement on Sunday. Referring to the election of Cyrus Engerer without naming him, the PN said that Prime Minister Robert Abela was not credible when he spoke about the rule of law, as a person who was condemned to a two-year jail term, suspended for two years will be representing the country at the European Parliament.

The Opposition lashed out at Abela saying that Partit Laburista does not respect the autonomy and function that civil society has within a democracy following claims Abela made about NGO Repubblika.