“Government is pitting employees against each other” – Delia

Adrian Delia

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The government is pitting employees against each other, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said on Saturday morning during a radio interview on Partit Nazzjonalista’s radio station. The Nationalist leader referred to the various reactions made by different stakeholders who have already voiced their concern about the government’s mini-budget describing it as falling short and not being sufficient.

The novel coronavirus has sparked a worldwide public health crisis as well as an economic crisis after bringing the world to a global standstill. In Malta various businesses have been closed until further notice in a bid to prevent community spreading.

Speaking on Saturday morning, Delia accused the government of pitting employees against other employees and their employers. He referred to the various measures being adopted by other countries in a bid to save their economies. Delia explained that the government did not meet the stakeholders all at once and instead chose to hold separate meetings. He pointed out that despite holding such meetings, Prime Minister Robert Abela still chose to announce measures which were completely different from those discussed with the stakeholders and social partners. Delia said that it was his duty to hold such meetings given the government’s shortcomings.

The Nationalist Leader maintained that while the economy was doing well, and the country registered surplus, the government took credit and boasted about being “the best”. However in such trying times, the government is engaged in a blame game, Delia claimed. He referred to the mini-budget measures announced earlier this week which were widely criticised and said that they were not enough.

“The government has abandoned the workers in the country’s worst period,” Delia noted. He added that what the government had signaled through public statements and measures taken is that it had no idea of how Malta’s socio-economic structure functions.

An amateur as an Economy Minister

Delia described Economy Minister Silvio Schembri as an amateur. He said that following Schembri’s public statements he received various comments. Claiming that it was unpleasant for him to criticise in such a period, the Economy Minister was not capable of putting the business community’s mind at rest.

Partit Nazzjonalista is proposing that utility bills are slashed during this period. The Opposition is arguing that the price of crude oil has divided and therefore such reductions can be made.

National broadcaster taken hostage

The Nationalist leader accused the government of taking the national TV station hostage, after popular prime time current affairs programme Xarabank went on air for the second week in a row inviting only government officials.

Partit Nazzjonalista has registered a complaint with Reno Bugeja who heads PBS.

On Friday, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Education Minister Owen Bonnici were the only guests on the programme. Xarabank failed to invite any guests from the Opposition’s side.

Partit Nazzjonalista said that the Opposition was not given the time to air its criticism against the decisions and the lack of action by the government against Covid-19. The Opposition accused Xarabank of having a third programme in which only government representatives were invited.

The Nationalist Party cited the Constitution and the Broadcasting Act and reminded that the national station is duty bound to ensure impartiality.

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