The tickets for Joseph Muscat’s family trip to Dubai in December were purchased in Jordan and cost a total of some €20,000, according to multiple sources working in the travel industry who spoke to The Shift.
Muscat travelled with his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters on 27 December for a three-day ‘holiday’. Sources said the flights cost €4,998 each for the family of four.
On Emirates flights, children aged 12 years and over pay the full price. Muscat’s twin daughters, Etoile and Soleil, were born in 2007.
When asked by journalists who paid for the trip, the Prime Minister forced to resign in disgrace replied: “none of your business”.
Muscat went as far as saying that he had used his “personal… erm… private funds” (sic) for the trip, despite his magical unchanging bank balance he has declared to parliament since 2014. Either Muscat has a bank account or an agent in Jordan, or he is lying to the public yet again and the tickets were purchased by another person in the country as yet another ‘gift’ he received.
Tickets purchased from the airline contain information on the location where the ticket is purchased (see sample below). Different sources have confirmed that the tickets from Malta to Dubai for the family were purchased in Jordan.
According to the code of ethics of Members of Parliament, “a Member of the House of Representatives, shall not accept gifts from person or persons, groups or companies that have or had any direct or indirect interest in legislation before the House of Representatives”.
When pressed to say who had funded his trip, Muscat insisted the journalist ask instead who else received luxury watches from Yorgen Fenech after it emerged he was ‘gifted’ a number 17 edition of a Bvlgari watch with an estimated value between €12,000 and €17,000 by the man accused of being the mastermind behind the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Muscat had claimed the watch was also given to the protagonists of Malta’s EU accession negotiations. This claim has already been rubbished by those involved, namely former President Eddie Fenech Adami, former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Malta’s first EU Commissioner Joe Borg, chief EU negotiator Richard Cachia Caruana and former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil. Yet, Muscat insists on diverting attention onto others while consistently lying to the public.
The prime minister was also given three bottles of Pétrus, a Bordeaux red wine worth thousands, by Fenech. Connoisseurs who spoke to The Shift estimated the value of the three bottles given to Muscat at some €5,000.
Despite lavish personal ‘holidays’ at home, Muscat has declared to parliament an unchanging bank balance since 2014. He has stopped declaring his actual salary since 2015, and has simply taken to stating “salary prime minister” instead of disclosing the actual amount. His spokesman had told Reuters late last year that Muscat’s salary was €55,978, plus €6,769 in allowances.