Opposition files parliamentary motion calling for public inquiry into Electrogas

Opposition leader Bernard Grech this afternoon filed a parliamentary motion calling for the setting up a public inquiry to look into the Electrogas project.

Grech said that there were serious allegations linking the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to this project.

A day after he was elected, Grech had called on the Prime Minister to set up a public inquiry into the controversial project but Prime Minister Robert Abela had denied the request.

“Because of this project, we are consumers without choice, handing out €91 million each year,” Grech said.

“The Prime Minister has been hiding away from this issue saying that this project did not commence while he was in office. The families do not care whose fault it is, but they do care about justice,” Grech added.

He urged Abela to tell the Labour Party parliamentary group to support this motion.

“We have been hearing all kind of excuses during the public inquiry looking into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Today you have the opportunity to be on the right side of history. Do not be complicit in this contract,” Grech said in a press conference.

The PN Leader’s move comes after yet another shocking revelation by The Shift which shows how the government went through great effort to hide a critical agreement related to the Electrogas deal from the European Commission.

Leaked emails show correspondence between Electrogas directors and employees as well as lenders showing extreme concern over the Security of Supply Agreement signed by disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi with Azerbaijan’s SOCAR Trading undertaking to buy liquified natural gas (LNG) for the Electrogas power station for 18 years at ridiculously inflated prices.

Opposition spokesperson for energy, Ryan Callus, referred to this secret deal in Azerbaijan signed by former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi:  “Besides the secret deal in Azerbaijan, we are calling for this public inquiry because of its links to the Panama Papers and the bank guarantee of €360 million which was unprecedented.”

Callus said the National Audit Office had already pointed out the risk.

Callus also made reference to The Shift’s findings about a €40 million euro excise tax grant agreed to by Mizzi, adding that the public could have benefitted from the money “wasted”.

The motion presented before parliament is split into two parts. One part includes the premise or points which led to this call. A second part refers to the steps needed to be taken after this motion passes parliament.

The Opposition’s spokesperson for good governance, Karol Aquilina, said that should the motion go through, the prime minister has 15 days to set up the Board of Inquiry, which would be tasked with examining the commercial and political entities linked to this project, identify any abuse or illegalities in the processes, identity the persons who committed these illegalities and make recommendations on the way forward.

The motion states that a final report should be given to the Speaker of the House and no timeframe should be imposed.

                           
                               

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