Egrant… and bread and butter issues

The Nationalist Party was wrong about Egrant, and it had to admit that to move forward

It was Adrian Delia’s duty to pronounce himself on the Egrant Inquiry
It was Adrian Delia’s duty to pronounce himself on the Egrant Inquiry

These are not the easiest of times for the Nationalist Party. The last election campaign rested heavily on the Egrant allegations. Magistrate Aaron Bugeja enjoyed the trust of both the former, and the current Opposition leader which is why his findings had to be accepted.

The conclusions by Magistrate Bugeja sum up the inquiry he conducted over a period of fifteen months. It was on the basis of those conclusions that Delia had to give his reaction – as the nation awaited his party’s reaction and action. It was his duty to pronounce himself – which he did.

The Nationalist Party was wrong about Egrant, and it had to admit that to move forward.

Enough has been said, and written about that decision. It is an internal matter which rests exclusively with and within the Nationalist Party. Discussions are now underway to help the Nationalist Party move forward together. I trust that that shall happen soon.

But there are two issues on which both Adrian Delia and Simon Busuttil agree strongly – for there is common ground between the two. First, the urgent need for the Attorney General to publish the inquiry in its entirety. Egrant rocked the nation when the allegations were first made – and an early general election was called soon after. The Attorney General should have understood the serious matter at hand and published the inquiry.

Secondly, two of the Prime Minister’s closest aides – Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri have a lot to answer for. They opened secret offshore accounts in Panama hours after Labour swept to power in 2013. That, in itself, is a grave matter which, elsewhere would have resulted in their immediate resignation.

Bread and butter issues

This week, I continued meeting people at house visits. The aftermath of the Egrant inquiry results and the happenings within the Nationalist Party dominated heavily the discussions. But there are other issues which matter to people and about which they demand the attention of politicians and decision makers.

Cost of living remains a primary concern especially amongst middle and low-income earners and pensioners, whatever their pension. The exorbitant increase in rents is having a catastrophic effect on families across the board.

In Gozo, the lack of investment by the private sector – which remains with no tangible incentives to set up shop and employ people in Gozo, and the state of play at the Gozo general hospital, top Gozitans’ concerns. Bread and butter issues should never be ignored. The Egrant inquiry aftermath provides newspapers with wall-to-wall coverage, but ultimately it boils down to bread and butter issues.

 

Frank Psaila is PN candidate for the European elections

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