Dalli, PN MEPs accuse each other of hypocrisy over Bulgaria vote

Il-Membru Parlamentari Ewropew, Miriam Dalli u d-Deputat Ian Castaldi Paris jindirizzaw konferenza tal-aħbarijiet

Il-Membru Parlamentari Ewropew, Miriam Dalli u d-Deputat Ian Castaldi Paris jindirizzaw konferenza tal-aħbarijiet

Posted by Partit Laburista on Saturday, October 10, 2020

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli accued PN MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa of being hypocrites over their vote against a resolution targeting the rule of law in Bulgaria, in light of their eagerness to back such initiatives when they target Malta.

The two MEPs replied in turn, stating that while their Labour counterparts were proudly declaring that they were defending Bulgaria, they regularly betrayed Malta “as long as they defended their corrupt party.”

Dalli and Labour MP Ian Castaldi Paris held a press conference over the matter, and both sought to assign responsibility over the MEPs’ vote to newly-elected PN leader Bernard Grech. The Labour MEP highlighted that Grech was tacitly giving his blessing by remaining silent on the matter.

“It is true that he said he was ashamed of being Maltese on occasion,” Dalli said, recalling a remark by Grech that he would pretend to be Greek on overseas travel to avoid questions about the situation in Malta, which Labour politicians have taken to referring to with some frequency.

“But this does not give the PN the right to criticise our country and to defend others.”

Metsola had taken a more active role in the Bulgaria vote: on behalf of the European People’s Party – which the largest party in the Bulgarian government is aligned to – she presented amendments which were perceived to dilute the criticism of Bulgaria in the face of widespread anti-government and anti-corruption protests.

The amendments did not pass, and both Metsola and Casa voted against the report which was approved.

Dalli highlighted that the Bulgaria vote was the latest in a pattern which saw the PN MEPs defend their more questionable political allies in other countries, including the authoritarian Hungarian government led by Viktor Orbán. She said that they had done so on various occasions, specifically mentioning a 2017 vote at the Civil Liberties Committee in which Metsola disapproved of a proposal to send a delegation to investigate the situation in Hungary.

Casa and Metsola, meanwhile, defended their vote by describing the Bulgaria resolution as a rushed one filled with mistakes. They also insisted that the resolution was in no way in favour or against the Bulgarian people.

“The PN MEPs always voted in favour of the interests of all Maltese. All except Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Chris Cardona, Peter Grech, and Lawrence Cutajar,” they said.

They noted that they were continuing to work in favour of a mechanism which would help defend the public from corruption, irrespective of which member state they live in.