A new PN government aims to boost the tourism industry, lowering VAT to 7% for bars and restaurants.
Opposition leader Bernard Grech addressed a small crowd that gathered in Mellieha, as the Nationalist Party fielded its candidates for the twelfth constituency.
“We must encourage the tourism industry and continue to strengthen this crucial area for our country, mainly by giving a big boost to food and beverage establishments by reducing the VAT rate,” Grech said.
Grech also announced that PN would create organized and maintained spaces for camping with necessary facilities, such as lighting, water, sanitation and cooking facilities.
He said a PN government would ensure local holidays are celebrated as they were in the pre-pandemic era. Grech criticized Abela for continuing with pandemic mitigation measures, “despite Malta having achieved herd immunity”.
Grech dedicated a token round of applause to the Ukrainians, who are currently under military aggression from their Russian neighbors. Grech said no country should bully another and attack its sovereignty.
Soon after, he focused on Prime Minister Robert Abela, accusing him of compromising the country’s security by selling passports to Russian citizens. He referred to media reports claiming that Russian oligarchs had obtained Maltese citizenship through the Golden Passport scheme, for carrying out nefarious activities in the Mediterranean.
“Robert Abela has already tarnished the reputation of the country and he is now also playing with our security. We cannot sell our soul, and now our security, for money.
He said, however, that PN was ready to continue with the golden passport program, as long as applicants were vetted and their names published.
Grech said the party showed it was campaign ready by presenting the manifesto within 100 hours of the campaign. He said the PN was ready to govern but acknowledged it faced an uphill battle.
Bernard Grech, moved, thanked his neighbor for having cooked for him and his family during the campaign, despite his broken leg. “This is the society I want to see, a society where people take care of each other,” Grech said as the crowd chanted his name.
Grech mentioned the infamous drone incident and reiterated that he was not from the Planning Authority, but was “sent by Robert Abela”. The crowd did not take this lightly and booed the Prime Minister.
“Don’t boo him but send your message through your vote. When you are alone in the voting booth, vote for PN – the party of freedom, the party of labour, vision and the party of Europe,” Grech said.
During the demonstration the PN candidates for the twelfth constituency; Ivan Bartolo, Claudette Buttigieg, Ivan Castillo, Robert Cutajar, Maria Deguara and Graziella Galea presented themselves to voters.