Bernard Grech defined Robert Abela as a ‘detached rich man’ during his speech at the Independence Day mass meeting.
Grech took a risk by going down that path and opening himself up to the criticism that is entering the politics of envy.
But the Leader of the Opposition is not leaving that description despite the slippery slope he is walking on, and qualifies it somewhat not to set aside people who have had a comfortable life.
On TVMnews + Grech insisted that Malta needed a Prime Minister “who worked hard, suffered and got his hands dirty” to understand the problems faced by ordinary people.
“It does not mean that everyone who has succeeded in life has found the easy way. Today there are people who just abhor living … you have to go through it to understand them, “he said.
Interviewed by Savior Balzan on Xtra, Grech insisted he never offended the Prime Minister. “I have never offended the Prime Minister as he did when he called me ‘cheap’.”
“I am happy with the successes of the people … and as Prime Minister I would be happy to see them move forward. But the Prime Minister had a comfortable upbringing and he can’t understand the people, “Grech emphasized.
He had described his own humble beginning with his wife during the mass gathering on the Granaries, by pitter-pattering a picture of a hard-working couple who first went into an apartment and then bought a house they made themselves.
The description was intended to contrast with what Grech described as the Prime Minister’s privileged upbringing.
Grech used the initial part of the interview to hit the national broadcaster for what he claimed was the partial reporting that favored the government. He complained about the lack of exposure on TVM for the Nationalist Party and its speakers.
“Despite this imbalance, and keeping in mind where we started in the elections as a party, we have made progress over the past year but something needs to be done,” Grech said when faced with a survey data showing after the Prime Minister. in the trust rating.
Grech insisted he was concentrating on what he would do if elected prime minister, when asked what his future would be if the PN loses the next general election.
Gozo, cannabis and ODZ
He reiterated that the PN was committed to an air connection to Gozo and would allow Gozitans to decide in a referendum if they would like a tunnel link to Malta.
On the decriminalization of cannabis, Grech said the PN will wait for the government to submit its legislative proposal before commenting.
He also referred to the promise to protect ODZ areas by introducing a two-thirds majority vote in parliament for major projects, and giving a brief explanation for the additional explanation given over the weekend by a party that voted two-thirds would be needed to change policy not to approve projects.
“I will not tolerate four people catching what is 450,000 people … It was not easy for me to say that the ODZ development has to go to parliament but it is time for politicians to say things that need to be said, said Grech.
On civil society groups like Republic, Grech said such organizations have played an important role in society but are not political parties. “It’s just civil society. They are not political parties. It is the PN that has the role of leading the country and has the obligation to ask the people for their vote. ”
Grech said the PN was funded by donations and revenue derived from the schedule scheme. He said it was not right for political parties not to pay the VAT collected by their companies and insisted that PN companies were sticking to the payment terms agreed some years ago.
It was recently revealed that media companies belonging to political parties had outstanding tax rights amounting to millions.
Asked what will be one of his first decisions if the PN is elected to lead the country, Grech said his government will set up a board for injustices to address the misconduct by the Labor government and the government. past PN administrations.
ALSO READ: Bernard Grech’s greylist pledge – ‘Not about magic; it’s about credibility ‘