As the Leader of Opposition, Bernard Grech has his work cut out for him as he seeks to go head-to-head with the Labour party that has dominated past elections, scoring landslide victories. The Labour party is facing its own nightmares with struggles pertaining to reputation, the pandemic and Malta’s recent grey listing, marking it as a higher risk country when discussing money laundering. In view of the recent developments, the Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech, made a number of moves which may be interpreted differently. In this article, we shall be discussing these.
The letter to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
As the risk of imminent grey listing was looming, even in view of Malta’s positive Moneyval results, the Leader of Opposition wrote a letter to the FATF, indicating that if the Nationalist party were to be elected, it would work to restore the country’s reputation. In his letter, he emphasised that a number of financial institutions in Malta had worked to upscale their compliance and risk mitigation measures and felt hard-done by due to the actions of others who should have known better. Some highlighted that this was not the right move, as it was felt that the Opposition, through this letter, was undermining the Government. It was argued that this represented a divided country and potentially such a letter could have been used as further fuel to place Malta in the grey list.
Christian Peregin’s appointment
The Nationalist party has engaged Christian Peregin, the founder of Lovin Malta as a Strategist within its fold. The move is a significant one as the party managed to recruit a thriving individual within the media industry, with an existing follower base. The appointment might give the Nationalist party the modern and creative feel that it so desperately requires and many will be following developments in this regard. On the other hand, some members within the Nationalist party may feel aggrieved that such an opportunity was not made available to them, especially when considering the salary package offered and that the same organisation is facing significant financial difficulties. One must also keep in mind that Christian Peregin is the man who spearheaded a court case to prohibit political parties from having their own media stations.
The three-month promise
An election does not seem to be far off. Bernard Grech made a promise which is typically common before or during election campaigns. He promised that if he were elected as Prime Minister, Malta would be out of the grey list within three months. This is quite a statement and seems fairly difficult to achieve considering that the decision would be ultimately taken by the FATF, not locally.
What do you make of Bernard Grech’s latest political moves? Let us know in the comments section below.