Protesters outraged over hospitals deal and verdict pack Freedom Square

National protest called for this Sunday


Hundreds of protesters incensed over Friday’s Vitals-Steward hospitals concession ruling packed the square in front of parliament this evening to demand concrete action in the form of prosecutions, the return of the state hospitals and the retrieval of the €300 million paid to the concessionaires.

Chants of “mafia”, “corrupted” and “criminals” filled the air as Labour MPs exited the House after a stormy session, with coins being thrown at them and with angry protesters rattling the barricades set up by the police around parliament in anticipation of tonight’s gathering, which was called by the Opposition in the wake of Friday’s damning court ruling.

The chanting and calls for action from the police commissioner and the attorney general increased when government MPs were seen leaving the building and the barriers were pushed forward by angry protesters and chants of “thieves, thieves” reached a fever pitch when Prime Minister Robert Abela was seen.

The scenes hark back to the protest of December 2019, which eventually led to the downfall of disgraced prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech and MP Adrian Delia addressing this evening’s crowd assembled before parliament.

Opposition MPs were meanwhile greeted with cheers and applause and when their leader Bernard called for a national protest to be staged this coming Sunday.

“Why was there such a need for the hospitals to remain in the hands of foreigners?” Grech asked, adding, “Now we know what the pact with the devil was”.

The protest ended with the singing of the national anthem.

Reporting and photos by Sean Montebello


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